SU vs. Wake Forest

Breakaway decides No. 16 Syracuse vs. No. 4 Clemson

Syracuse men's soccer head coach Ian McIntyre: "Every game ends in 90 minutes, but to conceive in the final minute is a tough one."

Up to the final minute of the game between the Clemson Tigers and Syracuse Orange, it was equal. The Orange held tempo for most of the first half but were unable to score, and by the second, the No. 4 Tigers (11-1-2, 4-1-1 ACC) crept back in. 


Tied 0-0 with a minute left, SU took a corner. The ball reached the ground and was kicked away by a Tiger defender. In the center of the back line, an Orange defender trapped the ball as it came down, and gave it one tap forward too far. With anticipating momentum towards the Syracuse goal, Clemson redshirt senior Kyle Murphy stuck in his toe to intercept the ball. There was no one but goalie Hendrik Hilpert to stop him. Murphy raced forward, and Hilpert came out of goal. With a few bursts to his right, Murphy snuck a slow rolling shot through the middle of an open net. After 89 minutes of equal play, one miscue led to a final buzzer 51 seconds later which heard Clemson celebrating a hard-fought victory in front of a shocked crowd at the SU Soccer Stadium.  


Hilpert, a freshman, was likely the MVP of the match, making great save after great save. Just before the goal-scoring play, he saved a rocket of a shot with one hand in front of an open left side in which he leapt from his knees in a crowded box off a corner. Late in the first half, he ran to the edge of the box and slid in front of a sprinting Clemson forward to snatch the ball from a near-perfect through-ball and open shot.


"I thought Hendrik was amazing," head coach Ian McIntyre said. "Personally, I feel we had the two best goalies in the league out there tonight."


Clemson's goalie, junior Andrew Tarbell, was just a bit better tonight though. Tarbell, like Hilpert, saved four shots in the match. The fifth shot on Hilpert's goal was the difference maker. 


"The odds are with the attacker on a breakaway like that," McIntyre said. "He took it well, and there's certainly no fault on Hendrik."


These two teams are the highest scoring in the league, McIntyre said. This was the first time the No. 16 Orange (9-4-1, 2-3-1 ACC) were shutout this season, even with 11 corners. Gameplay was mostly at midfield, back and forth with sporadic threats on goal, and every time but one, the ball never crossed the goal line. This game belonged to the keepers, and specifically, Andrew Tarbell. Attrition, although not always in soccer, will give way to a victor. Saturday night, it was Clemson. One to zero on a breakaway in the last minute. 


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