With Hurricane Florence battering the North Carolina and South Carolina coastlines Friday, Clemson moved its women’s soccer game with Miami to noon on Friday. And like parts of the state of South Carolina that are trying to survive Florence, Clemson’s women’s soccer team found a way to survive the storm Miami brought to Historic Riggs Field.
The Tigers eventually beat Miami, 2-1, in overtime thanks to Mariana Speckmaier game-winner off a header. Sam Staab earned the assist off a corner kick at the 94:25 mark of the match.
“I think it was a tail of two halves,” Clemson head coach Eddie Radwanski said. “I think in the first half we had the ball, but I felt we were just playing a bit too slow. I’ll take some of the blame for that, maybe I got some of the tactics wrong.
“We conceited what we would consider a poor goal, but you know what, this is the ACC. Teams are good. Teams like Miami can punish you and to their credit they did.”
It was Clemson (6-3, 1-0 ACC) who had the first opportunity of the match as it was awarded a penalty kick at 27:57. Goalkeeper Sandy Maclver stepped up for the penalty kick, but sent it wide of the net.
“Well Sandy is one of our best PK takers,” Radwanski said. “You know you have to be brave and courageous to take a PK. I like to think I was a pretty good PK taker and I missed my fair share.
“Let’s give her some credit. She didn’t lose her head after the miss and the one save she really needed to make the whole game, she made right after that. It was a great save.”
At the end of the first half, it was Miami who took the lead. At the 43:13 mark, Mallory Olsson scored her second goal of the year off a 5-yard shot inside the box. This came off of a deflected free kick, giving the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead.
At the start of the second half, it was Clemson who came out fast. At 50:37 in the match, the Tigers’ forward Miranda Weslake continued her strong season as she found the back of the net. With a delivery from Brooke Power, Weslake finished inside the box, tying the match.
“When we got to halftime we thought, ‘What are we going to do and how are we going to respond,’” Radwanski said. “We came out the gate and had a really good response. We continued to dominate the possession and honestly we were just more dangerous. They took the locks off the chain and just played.”
After a strong beginning of overtime for Miami, Clemson finally took control.
At the 94:25 mark, the Tigers sealed their victory when Speckmaier scored the game winner.
“No matter how you write it down, it’s three points in the ACC,” Radwanski said. “All of these wins you can’t take for granted so we’re happy to get it in before the storm and we can get Miami home safely.”
The Tigers will play next Thursday against undefeated Virginia in Clemson.