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Nov 10, 2018

No. 25 Clemson Drops 2-1 Heartbreaker to Ole Miss in NCAA First Round


CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson women’s soccer team dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to Ole Miss in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday evening at Historic Riggs Field. Clemson concludes the season at 12-9, while Ole Miss improves to 13-7-1 and heads to Stanford, Calif. to face No. 1 overall seed Stanford in the NCAA Second Round next weekend.

With the score knotted at 1-1 in the 54th minute of play, Molly Martin fired a shot that got through traffic and was deflected out of bounds by Tiger junior keeper Sandy MacIver, setting up the first corner kick of the match for Ole Miss. The Tigers were unsuccessful on the clear, setting up a second corner kick for the Rebels. Haleigh Stackpole sent the corner kick toward the back post, connecting with Grace Johnson who redirected the ball into the top right corner to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead.


  • Redshirt senior Miranda Weslake netted her ninth goal of the season, just thirty-one seconds into the second half of play, to tie the match at 1-1.
  • Sophomore Mariana Speckmaier finished the season with a team-best 22 points as she picked up her second assist of the year on Weslake’s goal at the start of the second half.
  • The defense, anchored by 2018 ACC Defensive Player of the Year Sam Staab, held CeCe Kizer, the leading scorer for Ole Miss, to just one shot as she entered the match averaging 1.7 points per game.
  • The Rebels took 13 shots (six on goal), to Clemson’s 10 (four on goal), while the Tigers had a 7-6 advantage in corner kicks.


  • Clemson earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive season under Head Coach Eddie Radwanski. Of those five years, the Tigers hosted at least one NCAA Tournament match in four of them.
  • The Tigers earned a fifth-place regular season ACC finish, and knocked off fourth-place and 19th-ranked Boston College on the road in the ACC Quarterfinals to earn the program’s third ACC Semifinal appearance under Radwanski.
  • The fifth-place finish was by virtue of a 6-4 conference record, which included two wins over top-10 opponents, 1-0 over No. 4 Virginia on Sept. 20 and 1-0 on the road against No. 10 Florida State on Oct. 4. Of the four losses in league play, all four were just one-goal deficits, while three of the four were against opponents ranked 11th or better nationally.
  • Sam Staab finished her Clemson career with 33 assists and five goals in her 7,360 minutes over 80 matches. The 33 assists put the center back in fourth place in school history in career assists.
  • The San Diego native started all 80 matches she played in over four years, only missing three matches in her entire career as a Tiger, with all three coming this season as she was the only collegiate player called up to the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team for the 2018 Nordic Tournament.
  • Staab nabbed All-ACC honors each season she has been in a Tiger uniform. In 2015, she was named to the conference’s All-Freshman Team, in 2016 and 2017, she was named All-ACC Second Team and just last week she earned a First-Team All-ACC nod.
  • Weslake finished her time at Clemson in style, having her best season in 2018 as she has netted nine goals while assisting on three for 21 points to rank second on the team in scoring.
  • The Beaufort, S.C. native earned her first-career all-conference selection as a senior, as she was named to 2018 All-ACC Third Team.
  • Fellow seniors Ellen Colborn and Alana Hockenhull tied respective career highs this season as well, with Colborn assisting on two goals and Hockenhull scored twice and posted on assist on the season for the Tigers.

“This was a tough result for us, in a very competitive game. Congratulations to Ole Miss; we wish them luck in the next round. When we came back out after the first half, we had a great start with the goal, and we were able to make a few adjustments and found some success. However, we weren’t very consistent with the things we were doing well, and Ole Miss punished us a couple times in transition. You know when you get into the NCAA Tournament you can’t take anything for granted; there are many good teams and today was unfortunately not our day as we were hoping to move on.

In the big picture, I am really proud of this group. We refocused later on this season and finished fifth in the ACC, advanced to the ACC Tournament semifinals and earned a host spot in the NCAA Tournament.

I’m proud of our seniors for everything they brought to the program. I told them that there is a group of five or six seniors on one team that will finish their season with a victory; everybody else gets knocked out at some point. Obviously it hurts to have a result like this one, but they will be leaving with a lot of incredible memories, friendships and relationships that they have built here at Clemson. They have really put themselves in great positions to have bright futures, which is what we are all about, getting young people ready for the next stage in life. I can’t thank Sam, Ellen, Miranda and Alana enough for what they gave to our program. I will carry all the wonderful memories they helped create in the four years they gave to us and we wish them nothing but continued success.

For our group returning, they must remember this feeling, because that is the piece they will use for motivation moving forward. It is a lot of work to get to the NCAA Tournament, and then you have to continue to work and step up again every match. We will be better for this experience.”

Game Action Photos

Photos by:

Justin Pondexter and Jessica Jones

Tweets of the Game