CLEMSON, S.C. — The No. 3 Clemson Tigers (5-1-1, 3-1-1 ACC) will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to face the No. 2 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-1, 3-1 ACC) for the Tigers’ regular season finale on Friday, Oct. 30. The match is set to kickoff at 5 p.m. This will be the second meeting between the two sides this season, with Clemson having emerged the victor on Oct. 13 via a 2-1 result.
Friday’s match will be the 50th in series history and 15th during the month of October. The Tigers are 7-4-3 when playing the Demon Deacons in October, with the two sides deadlocked at 3-2-3 in matches at Wake Forest during the month.
When the Tigers and Demon Deacons take the field at Spry Stadium, it will be a rematch of what was one of the nation’s top matches so far this season. When the two sides met in Clemson, goals from Kimarni Smith and Luis Felipe Fernandez-Salvador propelled Clemson to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over then top-ranked Wake Forest. George Marks made a season-high four saves in net, while the defense allowed only five shots on goal. The victory was the program’s first over a top-ranked team since head coach Mike Noonan guided Clemson past Maryland on Oct. 28, 2011.
Since defeating Wake Forest, Clemson has a record of 2-0-1. Most recently, the Tigers played to a 3-3 draw against the fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. In the match, Smith registered his fourth career multi-goal game, with the senior’s two goals scored 36 seconds apart from one another. The record for the shortest time between goals by a Clemson player is 31 seconds and was set by Wolde Harris on Sept. 11, 1994, in a match against North Carolina.
Clemson is currently ranked within the top-five nationally of eight team categories. Within the ACC, the Tigers rank amongst the top-three in the same eight categories. George Marks currently leads the nation in goalkeeper minutes played (590), while also ranking fifth in goals against average (0.917) and total saves (16). Smith is ranked third nationally in total goals (4) and total points (10).
Over the course of the season, Noonan has improved his career record to 339-181-72, with 115 of his victories earned while leading the Tigers. Noonan’s 339 wins place him in a tie with Virginia’s George Gelnovatch for twelfth-most victories amongst active Division I men’s soccer coaches.
Following tomorrow’s regular season finale, Clemson will shift its focus to the ACC Tournament. The Tournament is set to begin on Nov. 15 and will run through Nov. 22. The first two rounds of the tournament will be played across the ACC’s four North Carolina schools, with the Championship match set to be played on Nov. 22 in Cary, N.C., at WakeMed Soccer Park. Seeding, match location and kickoff times will be determined following the conclusion of the regular season.
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