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Men's Competition Nov 19, 2020

Clemson and Pitt advance to ACC Men’s Soccer Championship Final

GREENSBORO, N.C. – With semifinal wins Wednesday evening, Pitt and Clemson advanced to the 2020 ACC Men’s Soccer Championship game, which is slated for noon Sunday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Clemson topped Virginia, 2-1, while Pitt defeated Notre Dame, 3-1, as the Panthers reached their first ACC Men’s Soccer Championship game. The Tigers are in search of their 14th ACC crown.

ESPNU will have the television broadcast Sunday. Pitt (7-0) is ranked No. 1 nationally this week, while Clemson (7-2-1) is No. 2. This marks the second straight year that the nation’s top two ranked teams will battle in the ACC Championship game.

Clemson 2, Virginia 1 (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

The No. 3 seed from the South Region, Clemson avenged its loss in the 2019 ACC Championship game to Virginia (3-4-1), prevailing with a late goal, 2-1. The Cavaliers are the No. 4 seed from the North Region.

Clemson led most of the match, but UVA equalized in the 85th minute on an Axel Gunnarsson goal. The Tigers quickly countered, and after UVA was called for a foul deep in the box in the 87th minute, Luis Felipe Fernandez-Salvador stepped to the spot and buried the penalty kick for the eventual winning score.

 

Clemson grabbed a lead midway through the first half when Kimarni Smith chipped a shot over UVA goalkeeper Colin Shutler in the 23rd minute for his fourth goal of the tournament. That matches a tournament record which has been set four times previously.

Clemson out-shot Virginia, 13-5, with an 8-2 edge in shots on goal. Shutler made six saves in goal for the Cavaliers.

Pitt 3, Notre Dame 1 (Raleigh, N.C.)

Veljko Petkovic recorded a brace as Pitt bolted to a 3-0 halftime advantage and rolled to a 3-1 victory to advance to the title game.

Ranked No. 1 nationally and the top seed out of the ACC’s North Region, Pitt drew first blood in the 21st minute on a beautiful strike on a free kick from just outside the box from Petkovic, as he found the upper 90 for his fourth goal of the season.

The Panthers struck again in the 34th minute when a Raphael Crivello service deep into the six-yard box found Valentin Noel, who one-timed it home. It marked the fifth straight match in which Noel has scored, as he recorded his team-leading seventh goal of the year.

Pitt scored again in the 44th minute, taking advance of a Notre Dame giveaway as Petkovic unleashed a rocket from 25 yards that took a big deflection and sailed past Fighting Irish goalkeeper Keagan McLaughlin.

Jack Lynn scored on a penalty kick in the 87th minute to get Notre Dame on the board. The Fighting Irish out-shot Pitt, 18-13, in the match. Pitt goalkeeper Nico Campuzano recorded six saves.

The No. 3 seed from the North Region, Notre Dame finished its fall season with a 5-4 record.