Men's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #7 Clemson / #10 Charlotte Regional Breakdown

Men's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #7 Clemson / #10 Charlotte Regional Breakdown

Clemson is on a roll right now. The Tigers won the ACC tournament by getting past NCAA Tournament teams Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Louisville. They advanced past the Demon Deacons and the Irish in penalty kicks, so this is a team that will not be afraid to hang onto ties and hope for the best from sophomore keeper Andrew Tarbell. Not surprisingly, this is a North Carolina heavy region and many of the teams are very familiar with each other. Clemson, this year alone, have played Coastal Carolina, Charlotte and, of course, conference foe North Carolina.


#7 Clemson vs. Coastal Carolina/Florida Gulf Coast

Florida Gulf Coast will take a trip to Coastal Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles have not had much success here recently, losing to UCF in the first round in 2011 and South Florida in 2012. At least this time they get to leave the state of Florida. Coastal Carolina is a battle tested squad. Even the Big South was pretty solid this year and Chanticleers went 7-1-1 in conference play. Coastal Carolina knows how to score goals and they were only shutout twice all season long. Strikers Ricky Garbanzo, Sergio Camargo and Bryce Follensbee are all dangerous. The overall offensive numbers may be slightly inflated due to some bad teams in the Big South, but do not let that fool you…these are dangerous strikers who can score against anybody.

And that includes Clemson. When Coastal Carolina and the Tigers met in mid-October, the Chanticleers lost 2-1 in overtime. Their only goal in that contest was from the penalty spot, but they did create chances. But in that last month, the Tigers have become a better team. They have not lost a game since they played Charlotte on October 7th. Clemson is not the most potent offensive team around, but they have a knack for winning close games.


#10 Charlotte vs. North Carolina/James Madison

James Madison had a tough road to reach the NCAA Tournament. The CAA was very strong this year, but the Dukes got past third seed Hofstra, second seed UNC Wilmington and top seed Delaware. In that tournament run the JMU defense did not allow a single goal and that is why this team can hang around with North Carolina. The Tar Heels have a potent offense, led by senior Andy Craven, so the Dukes will certainly have their work cut out for them. Craven netted 11 goals on the season and no team in the ACC scored more goals than North Carolina.

Charlotte awaits the winner of North Carolina and James Madison. The 49ers have slipped a little in October and November, and need to get back on track after losing in their opener in the Conference USA Tournament to Old Dominion. However, that was at Old Dominion, where Charlotte lost earlier in the season as well. At home against UNC or JMU should be an easier task for Coach Kevin Langan and company. Striker Kyle Parker has been down this road before and this team has the potential to recapture the magic of 2011 when they reached the finals. Since then this team has lost in the second round every time and most players on this team remember the feeling of getting a bye last year and then losing to Coastal Carolina. They will not allow that to happen again without leaving their best on the field.


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