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Clemson Heads to College Cup, Faces Syracuse in Semifinal Friday

Clemson Heads to College Cup, Faces Syracuse in Semifinal Friday

Match Information:

What: 2015 NCAA Men’s College Cup SemifinalWho: No. 2 National Seed Clemson Tigers (17-2-3) vs. No. 6 National Seed Syracuse (16-5-3)When: Friday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. CT)Where: Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.RPI: Clemson – No. 2; Syracuse – No. 3NSCAA Rankings: Clemson – No. 3; Syracuse – No. 6Follow: @ClemsonMSoccer on Twitter and InstagramTV: ESPNULive Video: WatchESPN ( Stats:

Clemson’s Road to the College Cup:

  • Elite Eight: Clemson 1, Maryland 1 (Clemson advanced in PKs, 3-1) (Dec. 4, Clemson, S.C.)Thales Moreno scored a goal in regulation, and netted the winning penalty kick to send the Tigers to the College Cup for the first time in 10 years. Iman Mafi and T.J. Casner also scored in the shootout for the Tigers, while Andrew Tarbell came up with two crucial saves in the shootout, in addition to five saves in 110 minutes of play.
  • Round of 16: Clemson 3, UC Santa Barbara 2 (Nov. 29, Clemson, S.C.) – Junior defender Aaron Jones, sophomore forward Diego Campos and redshirt senior forward Kyle Murphy each scored for the Tigers in the win, while Thales Moreno assisted on all three Clemson goals. Murphy’s goal was the game-winner, in the 79th minute.
  • Round of 32: Clemson 5, Elon 2 (Nov. 22, Clemson, S.C.)T.J. Casner scored twice and added an assist, and Thales Moreno, Saul Chinchilla and Iman Mafi scored once apiece in the Clemson victory. Mafi also assisted on three goals, while Michael Melvin tallied two assists in the contest.

Clemson’s NCAA Tournament Notes:

  • The Tigers are headed to the NCAA College Cup for the eighth time in program history, and the first time in 10 years. Previous College Cup seasons for the Tigers were 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1987 and 2005.
  • Clemson won the national title in 1984 and 1987.
  • The program has a 50-25-3 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament, and, with its 50 wins in tournament play, is sixth in NCAA Tournament history in that category.
  • This is Clemson’s 29th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament, which puts the program in ninth-place nationally in terms of all-time NCAA Tournament appearances.
  • Head Coach Mike Noonan has a 283-158-61 record in 27 seasons as a head coach, and a 59-42-20 mark in six seasons at the helm of the Clemson program.
  • Noonan has taken his teams to the NCAA Tournament 14 times in his 27 seasons as a head coach (one time at New Hampshire, 10 times at Brown, three times at Clemson). He has reached the Round of 16 four times and the Elite Eight three times. This is his first College Cup appearance as a head coach.

Clemson Player Notes:

  • Senior leaders Paul Clowes and Kyle Fisher were named two of 15 semifinalists for the 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy on Monday, Dec. 1.
  • Seven Clemson players were honored by the ACC when it announced its 2015 award winners on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Senior Paul Clowes was named ACC Midfielder of the Year and senior Kyle Fisher was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Clowes and Fisher were joined on the All-ACC First Team by senior T.J. Casner and redshirt junior Andrew Tarbell. Junior Iman Mafi and sophomore Oliver Shannon were named to the All-ACC Third Team, and rookie Patrick Bunk-Andersen was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.
  • Senior T.J. Casner leads the team in goals (10) and points (24). The 10 goals put him in third in the ACC, while his goals per game average of 0.45 is also third in the conference. Casner also has a team-best six game-winning goals, a figure which is best in the ACC and fifth nationally.
  • Redshirt senior Kyle Murphy ranks second on the team in goals (8) and points (20).
  • Five other Tigers have at least 10 points on the season, junior Austen Burnikel (16), junior Iman Mafi (16), sophomore Oliver Shannon (14) junior Thales Moreno (14) and sophomore Diego Campos (13).
  • Redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell is 17-2-3 in goal for the Tigers, registering 75 saves and allowing just 18 goals on the season, while playing over 2,044 minutes in the net. The 75 saves are most in the ACC, while his eight solo shutouts are tied for first among conference keepers.


Syracuse Notes:

  • Syracuse is 16-5-3 overall, and is 6-0-1 in its last seven matches, having not lost a match since the final contest of the regular season on Oct. 30.
  • The Orange won the 2015 ACC Championship, with wins over NC State, North Carolina (in penalty kicks), Clemson and Notre Dame. The wins over the Tar Heels, Tigers and Irish were all on the road.
  • Syracuse defeated Dartmouth (2-1) in the NCAA Round of 32, Seattle (3-1) in the Round of 16 and Boston College (1-0) in the Elite Eight, en route to Friday’s College Cup semifinal.
  • Ben Polk leads the Orange in scoring with 12 goals and four assists for 28 points. He is followed closely by Julian Buescher, who has eight goals and 11 assists for 27 points.
  • Hendrik Hilpert has a 10-3-2 record in goal for Syracuse, and has 31 saves and five solo shutouts, while allowing just 13 goals in 1390 minutes in net.


Series Notes:

  • Friday’s meeting will be just the fourth in the series between the Tigers and Orange, with Syracuse holding a 2-1 record in the three previous meetings. Friday’s meeting will be the third between Clemson and Syracuse in 2015.
  • Most recently, Syracuse defeated Clemson 2-0 in an ACC Tournament Semifinal match at Historic Riggs Field on Nov. 11. Ben Polk scored both goals for the Orange in the contest and Hendrik Hilpert recorded one save in 90 minutes in goal. Clemson had the advantage in both shots (15-8) and corner kicks (7-2) in the contest, but was unable to capitalize on its chances. Andrew Tarbell posted three saves in 90 minutes in goal for the Tigers.
  • When the two teams met during the 2015 regular season on Oct. 17 in Syracuse, Clemson won 1-0 in a dramatic finish, which saw redshirt senior Kyle Murphy, a native of Red Hook, N.Y., steal the ball and take it down the field to score unassisted with just 51 seconds left in regulation.
  • In 2014, the Orange defeated the Tigers 1-0 on Sept. 20 at Historic Riggs Field.