Clemson outlasts Maryland on PKs, punches College Cup ticket

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Clemson topped Maryland on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw to advance to the College Cup for the first time in a decade in front of a lively Friday night home crowd at Historic Riggs Field.

The Tigers (17-2-3) capitalized on some poor penalty kick shooting by Maryland (12-5-6) to win the shootout 3-1. Terps goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier made a couple of big stops, but didn’t get any help from his teammates as senior Tsubasa Endoh skied one over the bar and Emmanuel Korvah and Alex Crognale both hit weak shots that didn’t trouble Clemson goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.

Crognale tied the game with his head in the 73rd minute off a Jorge Calix corner kick, but the Terps were their own worst enemies in the first half when they failed to bury multiple chances to take the lead and late in the game when Amar Sedjic was shown a second yellow card.

Clemson’s goal came on some pretty combination play finished off by Thales Moreno in the 58th minute off assists by Oliver Shannon and Diego Campos. The Tigers nearly won it in regulation when the Maryland defense clear two consecutive point blank shots off the line. A third clearance off the line came in overtime.

Moreno also made the clinching penalty kick to send the Tigers to their seventh College Cup, where they will have to beat an ACC rival – the winner of Syracuse and Boston College – to reach their first title game since 1987. Clemson beat San Diego State in that game to win the program’s second national championship.

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