CLEMSON, S.C. – A second-half scoring outburst, including a brace from Renee Lyles, propelled No. 8 Clemson (12-1-3, 6-1-1 ACC) to a 3-0 victory over Louisville (3-8-5, 2-4-2 ACC) on Thursday night at Historic Riggs Field. During the match, the NCAA revealed its midseason top-16 rankings, with the Tigers checking in at No. 8.
“Louisville is a good team, they are one of the better organized defensive groups in the league so this isn’t an easy team to break down. There were a few adjustments that we felt like we needed to make at halftime so credit to our team for bringing a little bit more urgency in our play in the attacking half and let’s give us some credit, we kind of wore them down and found the things that we were looking for,” Head Coach Eddie Radwanski said.
While no goals were scored in the first half, the Tigers impressed on the pitch defensively as they left the Cardinals cornerless and allowed for only a single shot to be taken, which was saved by goalkeeper Halle Mackiewicz.
The Tigers recorded eight total shots in the first half, two of which were on target.
Clemson finally kicked the door open in the second half, starting with a goal in the 71’ by Lyles. Megan Bornkamp slipped a pass to Hal Hershfelt who slid in by the Louisville defense to a sprinting Lyles, who fired it past the Louisville keeper to take a 1-0 lead. Sami Meredith netted her sixth goal of the year in the 78’, heading home a perfect pass from Dani Davis to double the Tigers’ advantage.
Lyles closed out her second career brace in style, as Emily Brough sent a ball behind the Louisville defense and Lyles sent it just above the keeper’s reach to give the Tigers the 3-0 win.
“With all the chances we had it can be frustrating but putting that one in and continuing to go at them, and once you get the one in, it jump starts the offensive from there,” Lyles said. “We are all really happy to be back here and to be able to get the win at home.”
The shutout is the Tigers’ 11th on the season and moves Mackiewicz into second in program history in single-season shutouts (11) and tied for third all-time in career shutouts (21).
Tonight’s game marked graduate’s Caroline Conti and Harper White’s 90th career match in a Tiger uniform.
Up next, the No. 8 Clemson Tigers will play host to No. 18 Pittsburgh for Senior Day at Historic Riggs Field. Kick-off is slated for 2 p.m. and the match will be streamed on the ACC Network.
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