Clemson's Path to Women's College Cup

Clemson's Path to Women's College Cup
by Victor Olorunfemi
November 28, 2023

Having the best year in program history in a season where you have had to rely on multiple Freshman starters highlights the incredible job a coaching staff has done. When TopDrawer asked Clemson coach Eddie Radwanski about what it took to reach the first College Cup in program history, he replied, “Consistency has been the story of our season. Our team has been consistent every time we have stepped on the field.”

It is not as glamourous an answer as many would have expected, but it is the perfect way to summarize a team that has scored in all but two games, kept 14 clean sheets, and has six players who have scored five or more goals. Simply put, this team’s greatest strength is its ability to show up day in and day out and put forth a reliable and team-first effort, maximizing the play of an already richly talented roster. Take the stretch to start the season where the team won six of seven games, conceding just once. Or in early October, as the team scaled the ACC table off the back of four consecutive clean-sheet victories. Or how this team has an impressive 8-1-4 record in games decided by a goal or less.

As Radwanki stated, “We are just trying to be the ‘best’ Clemson we can be. We have been blessed with ‘Player Driven Leadership.’ These young women are hungry. They love each other, enjoy being with each other, and want to win. It has been a fun group to Coach.”

Ten Key Moments:

08/24/2023 – After a scoreless 0-0 opener against South Carolina, Clemson defeats Gardner-Webb 9-0, matching the largest margin of victory since 2016. 

08/27/2023 – A clean sheet against Utah makes it four straight to start the season. 

09/03/2023 – Freshman Jenna Tobia records three assists in a 5-0 victory versus Western Carolina, marking the second time she did so after doing the same against Gardner-Webb. 

09/07/2023 – In a 1-0 win versus No. 10 Arkansas, Freshman Danielle Davis plays the full 90 for the first time in her career, starting a run of 90 minutes in 14 of the next 15 games. 

10/11/2023  – Clemson’s three first-year starters make the TDS Midseason Freshman rankings, with Danielle Davis at No. 4 the highest ranked. Jenna Tobia (No. 7), Tatum Short (No. 22). 

10/13/2023  – Makenna Morris, ranked 8th, headlines three Clemson players in TDS Midseason National 100. Megan Bornkamp (No. 19), Halle Mackiewicz (No. 48). 

10/29/2023 – 1-0 win against Wake Forest sees Mackiewicz set a single-season program record with 13 clean sheets. 

11/01/2023 – Mackiewicz named ACC Goalkeeper of the Year. Hal Hershfelt and Makenna Morris join Mackiewicz on First Team All-ACC. Bornkamp, Caroline Conti, and Harper White make the Third Team, while Davis, Tatum Short, and Tobia make the All-Freshman Team. 

11/19/2023 – Clutch penalty shootout save from Mackiewicz sends the Tigers to the quarterfinals. 

11/25/2023 – 2-1 victory over Penn State sees Clemson reach College Cup for first time in program history. 

Ten Key Statistics: 

  • Six players with five or more goals: Morris (9), Conti (7), Renee Lyles (6), Samantha Meredith (6), Mackenzie Duff (6), Bornkamp (5) 
  • 13 different scorers this season
  • 5 of Duff’s six goals have been headers 
  • Davis and Tobia tied for the team lead in assists with 8 
  • 2173 minutes from Davis leads the team 
  • Halle Mackiewicz has played the most minutes of any keeper in the country with 2141 
  • 14 clean sheets ranks 2nd nationally 
  • 56 goals scored is 9th nationally 
  • Making first Semi-Final in program history after 24 NCAA Tournament appearances
  • 18 wins is one shy of the program record set in 2000
Related Topics: Atlantic Coast
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