There was little doubt for No.11 Clemson Friday night as it defeated Louisville in dominant fashion by a score of 4-0 at Historic Riggs field in Clemson. It was the Tigers’ 10th win of the season in just 12 matches.
Forward Kimarni Smith scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season, as he continues to lead the country in scoring.
“We always knew he had it in him,” Clemson head coach Mike Noonan said about Smith. I think a lot of people take great pride in his development. Kimarni dedicated himself, he was here all summer. We’re not surprised to see how he’s scoring. We knew he was turning a corner.”
The Tigers (10-1-1, 3-1-1 ACC) came out of the gates strong, putting unrelenting pressure on the Louisville defense and keeper Jake Gelnovatch. At 25:02, Phil Mayaka sent a through from deep to a free running Robbie Robinson. With time and more room than any player should have, the forward comfortably put the ball in the back of the net, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Robinson’s night did not slow down as the Tigers’ highlighted their high powerful offense through all 90 minutes of play.
After receiving a ball on the wing, Robinson delivered a beautifully placed low cross that found the left foot of Smith. With ease the junior finished with a one timer, giving Clemson a 2-0 lead.
The scoring continued in the second half as Clemson scored their 3rd and final goal of the night early in the half.
At 61:22, Robinson sent a rocket at the keeper in which he saved but couldn’t control. Clemson’s Grayson Barber jumped all over the rebound sending it into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
“Robbie was on top of his game,” Noonan said. “Remember he’s coming off of a little injury from the Wake Forest game and it takes time coming off that injury getting yourself back into speed. He had a great week of training and I expected that he was going to play at that level, so I’m proud of him.”
Just when the game was looking to be over, Smith made a run into the box and drew a penalty with just 3 seconds left in the match. At 89:57, Smith confidently finished the penalty kick, giving the Tigers their fourth and final goal of the match.
Clemson is off until next Saturday when it travels to Syracuse.
—Photo courtesy Clemson Athletic Communications