CLEMSON, S.C. — The first brace of Callum Johnson’s collegiate career, along with Isaiah Reid’s first goal as a Tiger, secured No. 1 Clemson a 3-1 victory over Syracuse on Sunday night at Historic Riggs Field. Clemson improves to 9-2-1 on the season following tonight’s result, while Syracuse drops to 1-5-3.
“I think our players came with the right mindset, which was to compete, and they competed against a team that was ready to compete in Syracuse,” said head coach Mike Noonan. “I was very proud of the players. Obviously, we got different players on the score-sheet, which is good to see. It was a good start for the guys.”
It took only five minutes for Clemson’s offense to strike, as Reid’s tenacious offense off a delightful one-touch pass from James Brighton gave the sophomore the first goal of his career and the Tigers an early lead. Clemson is now 20-2-1 under head coach Mike Noonan when scoring in the first 10 minutes of a match.
Syracuse responded quickly, but the deadlock lasted only three minutes thanks to a wonderful bit of counter-attacking soccer between Luis Felipe Fernandez-Salvador and Johnson. Johnson settled a cross-field ball from Fernandez-Salvador before looping his shot over an on-rushing Syracuse goalkeeper in the 13th minute. Johnson struck again six minutes into the second half, this time scoring on a one-time volley from Reid seven yards out from goal.
“He’s a really good player,” added Noonan on Johnson. “We talked with him after the fall and told him that we need more production because if he’s going to take that next step, the production’s got to come with it. He obviously took it to heart with the two goals!”
The two sides played a tightly contested final 35 minutes, but neither side found the back of the net after Johnson’s goal. George Marks earned the win in net, making it his eighth of the season.
Fernandez-Salvador made his 30th career start, and 40th career appearance, for Clemson this evening by starting in the center of the Tigers’ midfield unit. Ousmane Sylla made his first career start for Clemson by joining Fernandez-Salvador in the midfield. By entering in the 37th minute, Stirling Russell made his 20th career appearance for Clemson. Hamady Diop made his debut for Clemson as a substitute in the first half
Clemson men’s soccer will return to action on Saturday, March 13, against No. 13 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. The two sides will meet at Thompson Field, with kickoff set for 5 p.m. on ACCNX.
5’ – Isaiah Reid
A quick bit of counter-attacking play allowed for Isaiah Reid to get a shot off 12 yards from goal. The ball deflected off the keeper and back to Reid, who took a touch past the keeper and slotted home the ball into an open net.
Clemson 1, Syracuse 0
10’ – Noah Singelmann (S. Triantafillou)
After a ball was sent across the goal, Triantafillou set the ball to the feet of Singelmann who slotted home the ball on a one-time finish.
Clemson 1, Syracuse 1
13’ – Callum Johnson (L.F. Fernandez-Salvador)
Fernandez-Salvador picked up the ball at midfield and found a streaking Johnson on the other side of the field. Johnson took a pair of touches and fired a long, hanging shot into the net for the tenth goal of his career.
Clemson 2, Syracuse 1
51’ – Callum Johnson (I. Reid)
After Isaiah Reid received the ball at his feet following a Clemson throw-in inside the Tigers’ offensive third, Reid settled the ball and delivered a floating cross to an unmarked Johnson. Johnson swiftly hit the cross on a first-time volley to send the ball past Syracuse’s goalkeeper.
Clemson 3, Syracuse 1