SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The No. 13 Clemson Tigers bested the No. 10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Friday night by a 4-2 margin.
The win moved Clemson to 5-0 on the young season and gave the Tigers a win in their ACC opener and first road test. Tonight’s four goals by the Tigers gives them 25 through their opening five matches, a mark which comfortably sits atop the NCAA.
“I think anytime you start ACC play with a win on the road it’s significant, especially at a place like Notre Dame”, said Head Coach Mike Noonan. “I was very proud of the guys. They were focused all game.”
The Tigers broke the nil-nil score-line early, as Robbie Robinson skillfully weaved through five Irish defenders to slot the opening score into the bottom-right corner of the net six minutes into the match. After allowing a Notre Dame goal in the 22nd minute off of a set-piece, the Clemson midfield stepped up and started to gain firm control of the match.
The Tigers regained the lead in the 40th minute, as Kimarni Smith capitalized off of a mishit from the Notre Dame defense, allowing a clear strike from Smith to find the back of the net. The goal would be the first of two on the night for Smith, as he used his signature speed to run past the Notre Dame backline and convert a long pass from Oskar Agren into a 3-1 lead.
Tanner Dieterich scored the final goal on the night for Clemson, after a delightful pass from Phillip Mayaka allowed Dieterich to convert a one-on-one opportunity for his first of the season.
Despite the firm lead by the Tigers throughout the final 45 minutes of play, the team never relented in their effort. The grit and poise that has become synonymous with the team in the 2019 season helped the squad close out their first road game of the season.
Noonan spoke to the second-half poise his team showed by saying, “Our guys did really well tonight. They didn’t sit back and protect the lead, they tried to score and extend it. They professionally closed out the game.”
George Marks was awarded the start in goal and recorded two saves in 90 minutes of play. This performance moved the sophomore keeper to 5-0 on the season.
The Tigers will be back in action on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. under the lights of Historic Riggs Field as they take on Fordham. The match will be the Tigers’ lone appearance on the ACC Network for the 2019 season.
—courtesy Clemson Athletic Communications