CLEMSON, S.C. – Five different Tigers scored to provide a balanced offense as the No. 8 Clemson women’s soccer team defeated Syracuse, 5-1, on Saturday evening at Historic Riggs Field. Following the win, Clemson improves to 9-1-2 (4-1 ACC), while Syracuse drops to 2-10-1 (0-5 ACC) as the Tigers take an 8-0-2 advantage in the all-time series with the Orange.
“The main takeaway is that we got three valuable points in the ACC, which is the number one objective. I have great respect for Syracuse, they are always a tough team to play. I was proud of how we played throughout the game, we created opportunities and we had some well taken goals,” Head Coach Eddie Radwanski said.
The Tigers wasted no time opening the match with a goal in only the second minute of play. Senior Makenna Morris dribbled the ball deep in the right corner on the offensive side of the field and fought around a defender to make a pass into the middle of the 18-yard box that freshman Tatum Short got her left foot on as she too stepped in front of a defender to score the first goal.
Clemson continued to apply the pressure against the Orange in the first half as the Tigers maintained possession for 67 percent of the opening 45 minutes, including just under 70 percent of that on the offensive attack. It proved to be beneficial as Clemson rocketed 17 shots off, eight on target, with five corner kicks. One of the shots on goal included sophomore Emily Brough finding the back of the net in the 36th minute after Dani Davis made a cross pass that Sami Meredith attempted to score off of, but the rebound landed in the perfect spot for Brough to get a one-touch shot off to make it 2-0. Syracuse cut the lead in half with a goal from Erin Flurey in the 43rd minute to make it 2-1 in favor of Clemson at the end of the half.
In the second half, Clemson continued to push the tempo offensively tallying another 12 shots, five on goal, with six additional corner kick opportunities. The Tigers reclaimed the two-goal advantage in the 54th minute as Morris netted her sixth goal of the 2023 campaign after Hal Hershfelt set her up on the left side of the 18-yard box. Morris juked out one defender before her right foot sent the ball into the goal for the 3-1 lead.
“I just try and help the team as much as I can, whether that be with goals or assists and try my best to be a playmaker out there so anything I can do to help the team is really my goal,” Morris said.
The Tigers struck twice more in the second half beginning with Caroline Conti netting a shot up the middle of the field. Brough added her second assist of 2023 and first of the evening by finding Conti after dribbling past three defenders. Shortly after Conti’s goal, Renee Lyles made a dish to freshman Jenna Tobia who found the lower-right corner of the net to score the fifth goal of the night for the Tigers and her fourth on the season.
The Tigers finished the match with 29 shots in comparison to Syracuse’s two. Senior Halle Mackiewicz started in her 49th-career match and played 82:29 to be the goalie on record in the Tigers victory. Addy Holgorsen made her second appearance on the season to play the final 7:31 in goal.
Up next, the No. 8 Clemson Tigers will play host to Virginia at Historic Riggs Field on Thursday, Oct. 5. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the match will be streamed on ACCNX.