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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Tigers next foe on road to Final Four

Yeagley expects physical match from ACC champions, counts on freshman to tribute

The ACC champion Clemson Tigers travel to Big Ten champion IU this Sunday for a match to earn a trip to the coveted College Cup -- the Final Four of college soccer. The game takes place at 2 p.m. at Bill Armstrong Stadium.\nClemson comes in with the fifth seed in the NCAA Tournament, boasting a 19-4 record. The Hoosiers are seeded fourth, with a 16-3-1 record.\nWith a win, IU will make its fifth consecutive trip to the College Cup, something only Virginia has done in the last 30 years. With two more wins, coach Jerry Yeagley and IU will tie St. Louis for the most all-time tournament wins with 62. \nGunning for his sixth national championship,Yeagley predicts a close, competitive battle.\n"Clemson is a good team with a lot of heart," Yeagley said. "They are strong and play physical soccer where they try to put a lot of pressure on the defense to force mistakes.\n"The question will be whether we can compete physically with them. We don't thrive on physical play, yet we'll battle with anyone." \nClemson and IU are not strangers to each other.\nThe two schools are tied 4-4 in the all-time series, with three meetings taking place in the post-season. Clemson owns a 2-1 edge in those games, despite IU winning the last three meetings.\nClemson head coach Trevor Adair is looking forward to adding to the rivalry. \n"This has been a great rivalry for as long as I've been here," Adair said. "We are two good teams with a storied history. The last couple of years, it has been that if you want to go to the Final Four you have to go through Clemson and Indiana first."\nThe Hoosiers are coming off what Yeagley called their best performance of the season, a 3-0 dominating performance against Rutgers last weekend. The Sweet 16 win stretched the Hoosiers' winning streak to six games.\nClemson comes in just as hot as the Hoosiers. The Tigers have won seven straight and 18 of their last 20 games. During that period, Clemson has outscored its opponents by a staggering 55-12 margin. \nClemson's 19 wins this season are the second most during Adair's seven-year tenure. Adair has compiled a 101-38-10 record during that time, including a a 22-2 mark in 1998.\nThe Tiger offense is led by senior Ian Fuller and junior Dimelon Westfield, who have 11 and nine goals respectively. But arguably the most dangerous player on the team is sophomore defender Oguchi Onyweu, who scored two goals in Clemson's overtime thriller against Alabama-Birmingham last weekend. \n"(Onyweu) is a man-mountain," Yeagley said. "He's been referred to as the Shaq of college soccer. He's just a big, strong guy who, no matter what you do, is going to get his share of balls."\nTrying to stop Clemson's powerful attack will be an IU defense that has been almost impenetrable this season. The Hoosier defense has yet to give up a goal in the post-season and allowed only six goals all year. Senior goalkeeper Colin Rogers is one of the highest-rated goalkeepers in the country, sporting a .31 goals-against average -- the best in the nation. \nAdair said he was impressed with IU's defense. \n"I'm not sure how we are going to crack their solid defense," Adair said. "What we are going to have to do is pressure them into making a mistake and put ourselves in a position that if a mistake occurs, we can throw everything at them."\nWith the IU offense running on all cylinders last weekend against Rutgers, the player that made the most noise was freshman Ned Grabavoy. The most-heralded of IU's strong recruiting class coming in this year, Grabavoy was side-lined for most of the season after breaking his left foot in the first practice. Yeagley said to expect more playing time out of Grabavoy, who garnered two assists in IU's three-goal performance against Rutgers.\n"(Ned) Grabavoy should get his first start on Sunday; he earned it last weekend," Yeagley said. "It has been a frustrating year for that young man, but the fact that he has battled back to game form shows his strength and work ethic. He helps our combination play so much when he is on the field"

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