Clemson, S.C. – Ousmane Sylla recorded his fourth-career brace and Arthur Duquenne recorded a career-high three assists as Clemson United overpowered Louisville, 5-1, on Wednesday evening in front of 3,785 fans in the second of two ACC semifinal matchups. With the win, the Tigers advance to the ACC Championship for the 11th time in school history and sixth time under head coach Mike Noonan.
The Tigers recorded 28 shots to Louisville’s three, including 18 on goal. Sylla led the Tigers with two goals on the night, while Gael Gibert and Isaiah Easley each had one. Remi Okunlola netted a goal and recorded an assist and Arthur Duquenne assisted on three of Clemson’s five goals. Louisville’s keeper, Alex Svetanoff, recorded 11 saves on the night.
Okunlola opened the scoring for the Tigers with his second goal of the season. After taking a pass from Sylla, Okunlola made a defender miss, then fired a shot past four Cardinals that also froze the keeper as it landed just inside the left post, giving the Tigers the 1-0 lead just 7:00 into the game.
Louisville tied the game in the 19’, but the Tigers offensive pressure continued, as Sylla netted his first goal of the night in the 31’. Gibert rocketed a shot off the Louisville keeper, before Sylla was able to corral the rebound off his body, then take a shot before the ball hit the ground, sending it past the Cardinal keeper and into the right corner to give the Tigers the lead.
Sylla tallied his third multi-goal game of the season just 5:00 later, doubling the Tigers’ lead. Duquenne sent a cross-field pass to Okunlola, who sent it in to Sylla, who snuck the ball just inside the post for his ninth goal of the season.
The Tigers continued to pressure the Louisville defense in the second half, taking a 4-1 lead in the 68’. Duquenne got the ball on a breakaway and raced 80 yards downfield, before passing it off to Easley, who perfectly placed the ball into the left side for his first goal of the night.
Clemson finished the scoring in the 71’ on Gibert’s first goal of the game. Duquenne sent a corner over a gaggle of players, before Gibert deflected the ball of a Cardinal defender to give Clemson the 5-1 win.
Up next – the Tigers travel to Cary, N.C. to face the No. 7 seed North Carolina Tar Heels in the 2023 ACC Championship match. The match will be played at WakeMed Soccer Park and will be broadcast on ESPNU at 12:00 p.m.