Nov. 25, 2001
Clemson, S.C. — Kenneth Cutler scored a “Golden Goal” in the 124th minute to give Clemson a 1-0 victory over Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the second-latest game winning goal in Clemson history behind Henry Abadi’s score at the 139:12 mark in a 1-0 win over South Florida in 1973. The win was also the 100th for head coach Trevor Adair at Clemson.
“There is no quit in this team,” said Adair after the game. “It is a pleasure to coach them. Kentucky fought hard and made it difficult for us. To be a champion, you have to have a lot of depth and a lot of luck. Today, we had both.”
Clemson and Kentucky, meeting on the pitch for the first time ever, waged a defensive struggle for most of the game until the Tigers broke through three minutes into in the third overtime. Brett Branan served a ball into Ross Goodacre, who found a streaking Cutler down the right side of the 18-yard box. Cutler collected the ball and beat the goalkeeper with a shot to the far post.
“I guess I picked a good time to score my first goal of the year,” said Cutler. “For some reason, I thought I was going to score this game.”
Both teams had their chances in 90 minutes of regulation, but the game took its toll on the Tigers. Already playing without ACC Tournament MVP Ian Fuller and second-leading scorer Steven Rhyne, Clemson entered the second overtime period even more shorthanded after injuries to Dimelon Westfield, Oguchi Onyewu and Fabio Tambosi. Kentucky took advantage in the first two overtime periods and had several chances to end the game. In the first overtime, Nathan Fleetwood centered a cross to the six-yard box that was headed by Chris McAlpine. The ball was stopped at point-blank range by Clemson goalkeeper Doug Warren, who made one of his eight saves on the day. Warren came through again in the second overtime when Fleetwood found himself wide open with the ball just inside the 18-yard box. Fleetwood settled the ball and sent a shot towards the right side of the goal that was deflected by Warren and bounced off the right post.
“It was one of those games where our goalkeeper had to keep us in it,” said Adair.
Warren’s play set up Cutler’s heroics for Clemson’s second overtime victory in the NCAA Tournament since 1979. The other win also came under Trevor Adair, a 1-0 decision over South Carolina in 1997. The Tigers improved to 18-4 on the year and ended the Wildcats’ season, who finished with a 14-6-1 mark. Clemson will advance to play the University of Alabama-Birmingham, which defeated South Carolina 3-2, on Sunday at 2:00 PM at Historic Riggs Field.
Scoring Summary Clemson--Kenneth Cutler (Brett Branan) 123:13
Shots: Clemson 15, Kentucky 14 Corner Kicks: Clemson 8, Kentucky 8 Saves: Doug Warren (CU) 8, Greg Raber (K) 3 Fouls: Clemson 16, Kentucky 19 Attendance: 1,380
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