Clemson rallies, battles No. 1, unbeaten Maryland to 2-2 draw at College Park

Alex Stockinger, Kyle Murphy score goals for Tigers, as Terps clinch regular-season ACC title

Men's soccer - Kyle Murphy

Photo by Mark Crammer

Men's soccer - Kyle Murphy

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Clemson rallied from a 2-0 deficit with second-half goals by Alex Stockinger and Kyle Murphy and then battled unbeaten, No. 1 Maryland to a 2-2 overtime draw Saturday night at Ludwig Field.

The draw clinched the regular-season ACC title for the Terps, who are now 14-0-2 overall and 6-0-1 in conference play. Clemson now has a 5-8-4 record and stands 2-2-3 in the ACC.

Maryland struck early with a goal in the second minute by Patrick Mullins, who fired a 20-yard shot for his 11th goal of the year.

The Terrapins scored again early in the second period (46:33) when Schillo Tshuma scored his seventh goal of the season off assists by Mikey Ambrose and Sunny Jane. Tshuma headed the ball in from close range to give Maryland a 2-0 advantage.

"It's very difficult to spot the number-one team in the country two goals and expect to come back," said Clemson coach Mike Noonan. "It was a resilient effort by our team. Not many teams can overcome a deficit after being down 2-0."

Clemson started its comeback in the 53rd minute. Paul Clowes crossed the ball to Stockinger who knocked the ball in the goal for his first goal of the season.

"I was happy that we stayed in the game. It was a good team effort," said Noonan.

The Tigers scored again just six minutes later. Clemson's Austin Savage rifled a shot that hit the upright, and Murphy was there for the Tigers to put away the rebound for the first goal of his career in ACC play, tying the score 2-2.

"The team wanted to play well," said Noonan. "They have a confidence that when they play well, they can play with anyone in the nation. Our hat is off to Maryland--they are a very good team. We are going to work hard and prepare for Virginia Tech as they come to Clemson Thursday night."

The draw snapped Maryland's 13-game winning streak. Its other tie was a 2-2 decision against UCLA in late August. The regular season title is Maryland's third under head coach Sasho Cirovski.

"I'm delighted that we ended up getting a result that allows us to achieve our first goal this year which was to be ACC regular season champions," Cirovski said. "I thought we played well in the first half again, came out strong in the second half and then I think what you saw was a team that was very mentally and physically tired.

"Credit to Clemson. They are an extremely hard-working team and very direct and we didn't deal very well with their counters and direct play. I think physically we were exhausted and we are going to correct that."

The Tigers defeated No. 1 Maryland 2-1 last year at Riggs Field. Phanuel Kavita scored the winning goal with 5:35 left to go in the match to lead the Tigers to victory last season.

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