Coastal Carolina eliminates Tigers from NCAA Tournament
The Clemson men’s soccer team saw its season come to a sudden end on Sunday when Coastal Carolina stunned the 8th-seeded Tigers, 3-1, at Historic Riggs Field in Clemson.
“First of all credit Coastal Carolina, they came out and played extremely well,” Clemson head coach Mike Noonan said afterward. “They capitalized on two defensive errors early in the game and we were on the back foot since then. After having a bye and not facing elimination yet it’s tough.”
Coastal capitalized early as it scored just 3:22 into the match. Michael Martin scored the goal by heading it in from five yards out following a cross from Saif AlHameli.
But the Chanticleers did not stop there. Less than a minute later, at 4:13, Coastal put in its second goal of the game.
Frantzdy Pierrot received a through ball from Martin Mechlor which he was able to find on his right foot. After a couple dribbles he launched it into the back of the net from 10 yards out for the quick 2-0 lead.
“I thought the team did well to get a footing in the game and to come back into and get the goal,” Noonan said. “Then their goalkeeper played extremely well and we just couldn’t find the equalizer.”
The Tigers found the back of the net right before the 20-minute mark of the game. Senior Jason Wright sent the ball into the back of the net off an assist from senior Diego Campos … the last collegiate points for both senior forwards.
To seal the victory for Coastal, Mechlor scored his second goal of the night and third point as he chipped in a pass from Pierrot at 49:12.
“It goes without saying how proud I am of the guys” Noonan said. “They represented Clemson, they represented themselves and they represented their families really well. Like I said the senior class leaves here with an ACC championship, a national final performance and four seeds in the NCAA tournament.
“Obviously we’re very, very proud of them but you know ultimately the disappointment comes because it’s about winning trophies here at Clemson. Unfortunately, we fell short.”
Clemson finished the season 12-6-1 with a ranking of No. 8 in the national polls.