After his team defeated Kentucky by scoring a goal in the 89th minute of their Sweet Sixteen match on Sunday, Clemson coach Mike Noonan credited the Tigers’ homefield advantage.
“It’s not who you play in the NCAA Tournament,” Noonan said. “It’s where you play.”
Noonan and the Tigers hope to disprove that adage Saturday when they face a stern road test by playing No. 1 Oregon State in an Elite Eight matchup at 9 p.m. in Corvallis, Oregon.
It will be the first meeting between No. 8 seed Clemson (15-5-0) and Oregon State (14-2-3).
Clemson has advanced to the Elite Eight for the third time in five years – and 16 times overall – while the Beavers are making their first appearance in the Elite Eight.
The Tigers are 7-6-1 in Elite Eight games and a victory on Saturday would advance them to their ninth NCAA Final Four, which would tie them with North Carolina for all-time Final Four appearances.
The Tigers have had a flair for the dramatic this season, outscoring their first seven opponents 25-1 en route to a 7-0 start, then dropping back-to-back games against UNC Greensboro and Pitt. Clemson later lost to Notre Dame and Syracuse before falling to Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals.
The Tigers beat Denver in a first-round NCAA Tournament match before stunning Kentucky with a late goal on Sunday.
“The resilience and that resolve of our team showed itself at the end of the game,” Noonan said.
The winner of Saturday night’s game will face the winner of Saturday’s 4 p.m. game between No. 5 seed Pitt and No. 4 seed Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Should Clemson advance to the Final Four, its match would be played on Dec. 10 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Clemson faces top seed Oregon State in Elite Eight of NCAA soccer
Source : https://news.yahoo.com/elite-eight-clemson-mens-soccer-110228195.html450