The No. 3 Clemson men’s soccer team won its final home game of the regular season Friday night as it defeated Boston College by a score of 3-1 on senior night at Historic Riggs Field. The Tigers finished the season without a home loss for the first time since the 2015 season.
After a slow start, Clemson (13-1-1) finally took advantage of a BC mistake, scoring its first goal of the match at 31:54. After a BC defender misplaced a ball, Robbie Robinson jumped all over the opportunity and stepped in front of the pass. One-on-one with the keeper, Robinson scored his 14th goal of the season and sealed the Clemson victory.
In senior night fashion, senior captain Tanner Dieterich struck next for Clemson. At 46:37, Dieterich received a pass inside the box from Phillip Mayaka. After a swift shuffle to the right side of the box, Dieterich lined up his shot and blew the ball past the keeper, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
“It’s a special night definitely for anyone involved,” Dieterich said. “In the locker room, everyone knew tonight was for the seniors. You’ve got to step up and take your moments, and I was able to do that. It was obviously a little bit of luck, but I guess that’s what happens when you play with a group like us. This is a special senior class. You look at the camaraderie between these guys and how close we are as a class, I think its all coming to fruition this season.”
Looking like a different team in the second half, the Tigers continued their goal-scoring run. At 66:28, Grayson Barber worked some magic on the right wing, beating a defender and finding an open James Brighton streaking towards the goal. Brighton collected the ball with a couple of dribbles before putting it past the BC keeper for Clemson’s third and final goal of the game.
“Grayson played exceptionally well,” Clemson head coach Mike Noonan said. “If not the man of the match, he was definitely our best attacking player. He was fantastic. I don’t know how many shots he had but he was unreal.”
BC wouldn’t go down without a fight, though, as the Eagles scored their first and only goal of the game late in the second half. At 77:02, Clemson was called for a hand ball inside the box. Awarded the penalty kick, BC’s Joe Kellett sent a rocket into the top left corner, scoring the final goal of the game in Clemson’s 3-1 victory.
“I think all the seniors have shared the leadership role,” Noonan said. “We have three senior captains, but every single senior has played an important role in this team. Coming off the year we had last season, it was definitely difficult but these guys really stepped up.”
The Tigers will end their regular season next Friday, Nov. 1, as they take on NC State in Raleigh at 7 p.m.
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