Men’s soccer ties No. 1 Clemson on the road

The Demon Deacons settle for one point on the road after a scoreless match


Junior forward Kyle Holcomb carrying the ball against a Clemson opponent during the match on April 2 in South Carolina, which ended in a draw.

Christina Denovio, Sports Editor

After a long, hard-fought battle, No. 4 Wake Forest men’s soccer (11-2-2, 3-0-2) tied their top-ranked opponent, Clemson (12-2-2, 4-0-1). After going into double overtime, totaling 110 minutes on the field, neither team was able to get a goal. The scoreline ended at 0-0.

Clemson, coming off a seven-game win streak, had the home-field advantage on April 2. Their last loss had come against the Demon Deacons on October 30.

In just the first two minutes of the game, Clemson already had three corner kicks, putting pressure on the Deacon defense early. Wake Forest tallied just two shots in the first half, making it hard for them to get on the board. Sophomore Jake Swallen, who made his 15th career start on Friday, had the best opportunity of the half for the Deacs with a corner kick, but it was saved by the Clemson goalkeeper.

Wake Forest’s offense performed better in the second half as they got off five shots, but none of them ended up in the back of the net. The Tigers looked far less threatening in the second half, as they only put one shot on goal, which was saved by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Cole McNally.

McNally was tested more frequently in overtime, but the Deac stayed strong in goal, finishing with his third clean sheet of the spring season. This marked Clemson’s first scoreless game of the spring.

The Deacons ended up outshooting their opponents 19-9, the leading threat being freshman midfielder Oscar Sears. He totaled three shots, two of which were on goal. Junior Kyle Holcomb, freshman Hosei Kijima and sophomore Omar Hernandez also pressured the Tigers defense, as each got off one shot.

Hernandez, who has been having a fantastic spring season, scored a brace against Louisville on March 27 and a goal against Notre Dame on March 20. On Friday, the sophomore from Dalton, Ga. made his 10th career start, nine of which have come this season.

A season-high seven freshmen started against Clemson, and a total of 10 freshmen saw playing time. One of them, Brunswick, Ga. native Garrison Tubbs, made his first appearance since March 1 and played 58 minutes.

While it was not the result that the Deacs were hoping for, the team is still in the running for the Atlantic Division title after taking a point on the road.

This Friday, Wake Forest takes on Syracuse in New York for the last game of the regular season. The last time the teams squared off was in September 2019. Syracuse is struggling and are currently in last place in the Atlantic Division.