Sixth-ranked Clemson defeated Charlotte 4-1 in a more than comfortable game on Tuesday at Historic Riggs Field in Clemson.
Clemson (8-1, 2-1 ACC) took a slow start to the game, leaving head coach Mike Noonan with some questions at half. The Tigers were able to put it together in the second half and play the way the sixth-ranked team in the nation should.
The scoring opened up early for the Tigers, but not off the foot of one of them. At 2:43 in the match, with Jason Wright on a full attack in the middle of the box, Charlotte committed an own goal. With Wright in hot pursuit, a goal seemed inevitable no matter who’s foot it came off of.
Charlotte was able to equalize at 21:02. After a deep through ball from Joe Brito, Tommy Madden capitalized on the counter attack. This put the score at one a piece, which remained up into half time.
The Tigers were able to get it going in the second half, outscoring their opponent 3-0. At 56:34, Jason Wright capitalized on a well-placed cross from Diego Campos. This was the Rutgers’ transfer’s third goal of the season.
“I thought Jason played very well,” Noonan said. “The first half, to be honest, I don’t feel like anyone really played that well. The team at halftime was asked some serious questions and I think the answers in the score. I also think Jason played a big part in that.”
The seniors didn’t stop there as captain Oliver Shannon was able to put in a screamer to the top right of the net from 24 yards out, at 65:37. Being assisted by Michael Melvin, four seniors were involved in the team’s second and third goals.
“Any great team is going to have great leadership.” Noonan said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to come from seniors, but our seniors are stepping up right now. I think that Tanner is stepping up, Patrick and Ximo as well. When your seniors are stepping up it’s nice to see.”
At 83:50, Robbie Robinson finished off the scoring for the Tigers off of a pretty assist from Robby Jacobs. Clemson was clearly the better team on the pitch.
The Tigers have a tough road ahead of them as in there next two games they face off against number two Wake Forest and number seven Notre Dame.
“Rest is how we’ll prepare,” Noonan said. “I mean seriously it’s been grueling. Guys are in the middle of exams and we need to rest.”
Clemson’s next game will be will be Friday at No. 2 Wake Forest. The game will start at 7 p.m.