Albany Falls to Clemson in NCAA Men's Soccer Sweet 16
A pair of late goals lifted No. 3 Clemson to a 3-1 win over No. 14 Albany in the third round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship Sunday in Clemson, S.C.
After Clemson scored a late first-half goal to a take a 1-0 lead into the locker room, Carlos Clark evened the scored just 1:51 into the second half. But, the Tigers retook the lead with just under 10 minutes left in regulation and added an insurance goal 2:06 later.
The Great Danes were playing in the tournament's third round for the first time. After receiving a first-round bye, Albany (15-7-1) dominated Boston College, 3-0, in the second round on Nov. 20 at Casey Stadium to post the program's first-ever NCAA win. Clemson (13-3-5) beat South Carolina in the second round to reach the Sweet 16.
Albany joined UMBC as the second America East team to reach the Sweet Sixteen in the last three years and will try to become the fourth America East team to reach the quarterfinals along with UMBC (2014), Hartford (1996) and Vermont (1989).
America East men's soccer teams have a .531 winning percentage (5-4-7) in NCAA play since 2010, 13 teams have reached the second round in the last 16 years, two have reached the Sweet Sixteen and UMBC made it all the way to the Final Four in 2014.
Vermont also reached the second round of the tournament, giving America East two teams in the round of 32 for the first time. UMass Lowell, the America East regular-season champion, would have received a tournament bid as well, but was ineligible for postseason play due to NCAA reclassifying rules. America East teams helped the league earn the third-best conference RPI in the nation this year.