Clemson Tigers hosts Crimson Tide in NCAA First Round Friday
BY: TYRIA GOINES
CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson women’s soccer (9-5-3) will host Alabama Crimson Tide (12-7-1) for the NCAA first round on Friday, Nov. 10 at Historic Riggs Field, Clemson, S.C. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Tigers ended the regular season with a 2-2 double overtime draw against No. 23 Florida State on Oct. 26, finishing ninth in the ACC.
Head Coach Eddie Radwanski hit the 200-career win milestone with the 4-0 win over SIUE to open the season. Through the double overtime draw against Florida State on Oct. 26, Radwanski is 208-112-31 for his career as a head coach.
This is Clemson’s fourth straight NCAA Tournament berth under Radwanski. It is the third consecutive year that the Tigers have hosted a first-round contest and is the program’s 18th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have an all-time national tournament record of 11-14-9. Clemson opened the season with six consecutive wins for the first time since 2015.
Eight different players have scored at least one goal for the Tigers so far in 2017, and six of those eight have scored two or more goals on the season. 14 different Tigers have at least one assist on the season.
Junior Sam Staab was named to the 2017 All-ACC Second Team on Nov. 3, while Mariana Speckmaier was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team. Graduate Jenna Polonsky leads Clemson in scoring with seven goals and four assists for 18 points. Speckmaier is second among Clemson players in scoring, with six goals and two assists for 14 points. Speckmaier scored a hat trick against SIUE on Friday, Aug. 18 and became the 15th player in Clemson history to record a hat trick, the eighth to do so in her freshman season, and just the second to do so in her first career game. Sandy MacIver has played 1,392 minutes in goal in 15 contests for the Tigers. She has 55 saves and a .809 save percentage, while allowing just 13 goals for a 0.84 goals against average. The sophomore keeper also has six solo shutouts and one combined shutout on the season.
Alabama is coming off a 3-1 loss to 10th-seeded Missouri in the SEC Tournament. The Crimson Tide earned its third trip to the NCAA tournament after totaling 12 wins, the highest in program history since 2002. The Crimson Tide are led in scoring by Abbie Boswell, who has 18 points on the season, via eight goals and two assists.
Kat Stratton has started 19 of the 20 games in goal for Alabama, tallying 64 saves and five solo shutouts, while allowing 26 goals on the season.
Friday’s matchup will be the first ever meeting between Clemson and Alabama in women’s soccer.