on September 1, 2007 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Tigers fall in the final minute of overtime

CLEMSON — The Clemson men’s soccer team opened its regular season Friday night with a 1-0 loss to South Carolina at Riggs Field. The 12th ranked Tigers hosted the Gamecocks in front of a packed house of 6,337 fans. The game was delayed by thirty minutes due to impending thunderstorms, but that did not deter the loyal Clemson fans.

Clemson’s Mark Buchholz began one of three contests he will participate in this holiday weekend. The soccer team played on Friday, but will play on Sunday as well. However, Buchholz is not only a member of the soccer team but is the place kicker on the football team. The football team plays Monday night against Florida State. But before Buchholz could prepare for the Seminoles, he had to concentrate on the Gamecocks.

As the first half progressed, both teams had attempts to score but were unsuccessful in their feat. Clemson’s David Newton had a shot at goal at the 21:40 mark but was rejected by Gamecock’s goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer. About six minutes later Gamecock Mark Wiltse shot at goal but was in turn rejected by Clemson goalkeeper Joseph Bendik. This back and forth attempt at goal went on for the majority of the half. At one point late in the half, Clemson’s David Bell barely missed the goal as he attempted to score.

Buchholz played the entire scoreless first half. The Tigers and the Gamecocks both tallied nine shots and three corner kicks by halftime.

It began steadily raining about twenty minutes into the second half. Nevertheless, the stands remained crowded with fans and the solid orange was in full effect. The second half remained scoreless as well, but the Tigers had many opportunities to score.

The most notable of those opportunities came with twenty minutes left in the game. Clemson’s Bell was fouled right outside of the 18-yard box, thus setting up a free kick for Buchholz. Buchholz hit the cross bar during that kick and the ball went over the goal. Not three minutes later, the same scenario happened again. Clemson’s Sam Petrome was fouled in the same area and set up a free kick for Buchholz. Yet again, he missed the attempt for a goal and the remainder of the half consisted of attempted goals for both teams.

The first overtime was scoreless too. Then in the last overtime, before the game would be called a tie, with 1:27 left in the period, South Carolina’s Blak Brettschneider scored the only goal of the game. The team rushed the field as the Tigers walked slowly off. Buchholz had played all of the game and overtime. Clemson had 24 shots at the goal and nine saves.

“I don’t think we did enough,” said Clemson’s head coach Trevor Adair. “We had chances to win the game, but overall I think a draw would have been a fair result. We’re struggling to put chances away and I’m concerned about that. The effort was there. You could see that for both teams guys were cramping. We’ve been on the winning end of some of these contests, but this is a tough loss to take.”

The Tigers cannot dwell on this loss for long because they host Gardner-Webb tomorrow at 7 p.m.