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NCAA Nov 16, 2020

Semifinal matchups set for ACC Men’s Soccer Championship

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Clemson, Notre Dame, Pitt and Virginia advanced out of the quarterfinals in the 2020 ACC Men’s Soccer Championship on Sunday.

Ranked No. 1 nationally and the top seed out of the ACC’s North Region, Pitt was the lone higher-seeded team to advance.

The semifinals will be played Wednesday evening. In a rematch of the 2019 ACC Championship match, Virginia will battle Clemson at 6 p.m. in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, while Notre Dame will take on Pitt at 8 p.m. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Both matches will air on ACC Network.

The advancing teams from play on Wednesday move on the championship game, which is slated for noon Sunday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Clemson 4, Virginia Tech 1

The No. 3 seed from the South Region, Clemson (6-2-1) blitzed Virginia Tech (3-2-2) with three Kimarni Smith goals in the first 34 minutes of the match to take a commanding lead as the Tigers rolled to the win in Durham, North Carolina. Smith’s hat trick was just the second in ACC Championship history (Ihor Dotsenko of Wake Forest against NC State in 1997 first round).

Smith also assisted on James Brighton’s goal in the 56th minute and finished with seven points in the match, setting a championship record.

The No. 2 seed in the North Region, Virginia Tech got on the board in the 71st minute on a goal from Kristo Strickler. The Hokies had a wealth of quality scoring opportunities throughout the match and out-shot Clemson, 18-8.

Notre Dame 1, North Carolina 0 (OT)

Aiden McFadden scored the golden goal on a free kick from just outside the box with 31 seconds remaining in overtime to propel the visiting Fighting Irish (5-3-0) to the semifinals and a rematch with Pitt. The Panthers topped Notre Dame, 3-1, in a non-conference game on Sept. 26.

Notre Dame is the No. 3 seed from the North Region, while North Carolina (3-2-2) is the No. 2 seed from the South.

UNC out-shot Notre Dame, 12-10. Notre Dame goalkeeper Keagan McLaughlin saved five UNC shots in the victory.

Virginia 2, Wake Forest 0

Cabrel Happi Kamseu came off the bench to score both of Virginia’s goals as the Cavaliers (3-3-1) ousted the host Demon Deacons (7-2-0) from the championship. The Cavaliers are the No. 4 seed from the North Region, while Wake Forest is the No. 1 seed from the South and the No. 2-ranked team in the country.

Happi Kamseu scored in the 31st minute and intercepted a pass just outside the box in the 52nd before chipping a shot over goalkeeper Andrew Pannenberg to complete the brace.

Virginia out-shot Wake, 11-10, including putting seven shots on goal to two for the Demon Deacons.

Pitt 2, Duke 1

Valentin Noel’s 62nd-minute goal broke a 1-1 tie and lifted Pitt (6-0) to a 2-1 triumph over Duke (2-6) in Raleigh, North Carolina, as the Panthers advanced to the ACC semifinals for the second straight year. Pitt is the top seed from the North Region, while Duke is the No. 4 seed from the South.

Jackson Walti scored in the 34th minute off an assist from Noel. Duke equalized in the 59th minute on a goal from Stephen O’Connell.

Duke out-shot Pitt, 15-12, although the Panthers put seven shots on goal to just three for the Blue Devils.