COLUMBIA, S.C. – The sixth-ranked Clemson women’s soccer team fell to 22nd-ranked South Carolina 2-1 at Eugene E. Stone III Stadium on Saturday night in Columbia, S.C. With the loss, the Tigers dropped to 3-2 on the season, while the Gamecocks improved to 4-0-1.
“I thought it was one of the poorest first halves I can remember us playing,” said Head Coach Eddie Radwanski. “We let South Carolina be first to the ball. For some reason, we were a step behind and a decision behind the entire half. We couldn’t connect passes, which is uncharacteristic of us and was frustrating to watch.
“We came out with more energy in the second half, but to give up the early goal was also unlike us. We certainly know that we have to continue to grow and get better, to learn from this and move forward. One positive is that we did not give up, but now we have to bring back some of our quality.”
The Gamecocks had the offensive advantage in the first half, garnering a few good chances, including Savannah McCaskill’s well-placed header in the 37th minute of play, which was just out of the reach of Tiger keeper Kailen Sheridan. McCaskill scored again less than four minutes into the second half to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.
Sophomore Sam Staab scored the Tigers’ lone goal in the 79th minute. Staab threw the ball from the right side of the field to freshman Mac Smith. Smith gave the ball right back to Staab, who launched a shot from 30 yards into the left side of the net for her first goal of the season.
Smith nearly scored the equalizer with five minutes to play, but her long shot from the right side was saved by the South Carolina keeper just in front of the goal line. The last 10 minutes of the match were the best for the Tigers offensively, with another good chance by sophomore Miranda Weslake in the final minute, but they were unable to find the equalizer.
Clemson returns to action on Friday, Sept. 9 when it hosts High Point at 4:30 p.m. at Historic Riggs Field. The match is part of a First Friday doubleheader at Riggs, with the Tiger men’s team hosting North Carolina at 7:30 p.m. and the First Friday Parade in between.
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