Clemson-Syracuse: ACC rivals face off in rubber match

No. 2 seed Clemson and No. 6 Syracuse square off in a battle of ACC teams in the semifinals of the Men's College Cup on Friday at Kansas City's Sporting Park (TV: ESPNU, 6 p.m. ET). The game will the rubber match of the season series. Clemson won, 1-0, in the regular season, but the Orange prevailed, 2-0, in the ACC semifinals. Both times the victors were the away team.

Redshirt senior Kyle Murphy won the first game for the Tigers with an unassisted goal with just 51 seconds left in regulation. In the second game, JC transfer Ben Polk scored both goals for the Orange.

The Tigers are one of the legendary men's soccer programs, dating back to the days of I.M. Ibrahim in the early 1970s. They won national titles in 1984 and 1987 with future World Cup player Bruce Murray but their last appearance in the final four after the second national title came a decade ago.

Mike Noonan in his sixth season at Clemson. He has taken his teams to the NCAA Tournament 14 times in his 27 seasons as a head coach (one time at New Hampshire, 10 times at Brown, three times at Clemson) but this is his first College Cup appearance.

Clemson is led by a pair of seniors, Paul Clowes, the ACC Midfielder of the Year, and Kyle Fisher, the Defensive Player of the Year. Clowes and Fisher were joined on the All-ACC first team by senior T.J. Casner (the top scorer with 10 goals and 24 points) and redshirt junior Andrew Tarbell in goal.

Syracuse, on the other hand, has never been to the final four. It won the ACC title for the first time with wins over N.C. State, North Carolina (on penalty kicks), Clemson and Notre Dame, the latter three all on the road.

Polk leads the Orange in scoring with 12 goals and four assists for 28 points, while German star Julian Buescher has eight goals and 11 assists for 27 points.

The Orange are coached by Ian McIntyre, who spent time at Oneonta State and Hartwick before coming to Syracuse in 2010.

Syracuse:
PROBABLE STARTERS
25 Hendrik Hilpert Fr. Germany
5 Louis Cross Jr. England
19 Miles Robinson Fr. Arlington, Mass.
20 Kamal Miller Fr. Pickering, Ont.
2 Oyvind Alseth Jr. Norway
4 Liam Callahan Jr. Amherst, N.Y.
6 Juuso Pasanen Sr. Finland
10 Julian Buescher So. Germany
12 Noah Rhynhart Sr. Albany, N.Y.
7 Ben Polk Jr. England
17 Chris Nanco
Jr. Brampton, Ont.
KEY SUBS
22 Kenny Lassiter So. Narbeth, Pa.

Clemson:
22 Andrew Tarbell Jr. Mandeville, La.
2 Kyle Fisher Sr. Easley, S.C.
3 Patrick Bunk-Andersen Fr. Denmark
7 Iman Mafi Jr. Norway
11 Aaron Jones Jr. England
4 Oliver Shannon So. England
6 Paul Clowes Sr. England
9 Diego Campos So. Costa Rica
17 Thales Moreno Jr. Brazil
10 T.J. Casner Sr. Irvine, Calif.
20 Austen Burnikel Jr. Greer, S.C.
KEY SUBS
12 Saul Chinchilla So. Costa Rica
13 Michael Melvin So. Jacksonville, Fla.
15 Alex Happi Jr. France
19 Kyle Murphy Sr. Red Hook, N.Y.
21 Michael Serrano Fr. Tampa, Fla.
Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications