CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Kailen Sheridan made two huge saves and also made her own penalty kick attempt to send the 12th-ranked Tigers to the NCAA Sweet 16 on Friday afternoon in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Clemson and No. 17 Arkansas tied 0-0 in 110 minutes and the Tigers then advanced 4-2 on penalty kicks to make the final 16 of the national tournament for the first time in 10 years.
The Tigers (14-4-2) dictated play for the majority of the match, outshooting the Razorbacks 19-13 overall, and 5-3 in shots on goal. Clemson also earned nine corner kicks to Arkansas’s two in the contest. In the 80th minute of regulation, a handball in the box gave Clemson a chance at a penalty kick, but Katie Sprouse’s attempt was saved on a beautiful diving stop by Arkansas goalkeeper Cameron Carter. Five minutes later, Jenna Polonsky launched a shot that hit the crossbar, perhaps the best two chances of the match.
After the scoreless 110 minutes, the match went to penalty kicks. It was a familiar situation for the Tigers, who advanced 5-4 in PKs over Miami in the ACC Quarterfinals earlier this season. Arkansas shot first, making its first two attempts, as did Catrina Atanda and Polonsky.
On the Razorbacks’ third attempt, Sheridan dove to her right to make the save, and then walked out to the line to attempt her own PK, which she made. The senior and Whitby, Ontario native then stepped right back into the goal and saved Arkansas’s fourth attempt, leaving it up to senior Claire Wagner, who nailed her shot to send the Tigers on to the next round.
This is Clemson’s sixth time in the NCAA Sweet 16 in program history, and the first since 2006.
The Tigers will face the winner of North Carolina and Kansas on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels and Jayhawks kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
By Staff Report