Denver men’s soccer (9-4-5, 4-1-1) played with four backline defenders against the #8 Clemson Tigers (14-5, 5-3). The highly athletic and skilled Tigers controlled play on the night with occasional counterattacks by DU into Clemson territory. The Tigers outshot Denver 24-4 and shots-on-goal 9 to 3 but it took Clemson 107:31 minutes to secure the overtime win.
Despite Clemson controlling the pace of play, the game looked to be heading into a shootout after 110 minutes of regulation and overtime. With only 2:29 remaining in the second and final overtime period a Clemson player was tackled in the box by DU’s Eli Mereness. It was correctly called a foul and Clemson’s All-ACC first-team star, Oskar Agren, buried the penalty kick off the fingertips of DU’s goalkeeper Will Desantis.
— Clemson Men's Soccer (@ClemsonMSoccer) November 22, 2021
It was an excellent season for a young Denver side with nine freshmen and five sophomores. Head coach Jamie Franks was clearly banking on a counterattack goal during regulation or putting the game in the hands of his substitute penalty-kick goalkeeper, Kobe Gray. It was a smart strategy that came within a few minutes of working.
In the end, the best team won on the night but DU soccer put up a courageous fight following a match strategy that nearly paid off.