First, it was bad luck. Then, it was great skill.
An excellent display of goalkeeping by Clemson’s Halle Mackiewicz earned the Tigers a 1-0 clean sheet over No. 17 West Virginia (3-2-2) on Tuesday. She did it without the help of her attack, as the lone goal was netted with the help of some unfortunate luck for the Mountaineers.
Clemson got on the board 10 minutes into the game as WVU center-back Gabby Robinson attempted to deflect a cross into the box. She got a clean touch on the ball with her head, but it ended up in the back of the net as goalie Kayza Massey watched.
WVU maintained pressure throughout the game and tested Mackiewicz four times throughout the match, but the decisive moment came in the 67th minute. WVU’s Maya McCutcheon made a run into the box and had a look at the net, but Megan Bornkamp pulled on her shirt and fouled her for a penalty.
Jordan Brewster stepped up to take the shot and got a good hit from the spot to the lower left corner, but Mackiewicz guessed and timed it perfectly to gather the ball in for the save.
While the Mountaineers kept the pressure on the Tiger back line, that was their final attempt on goal. Mackiewicz finished the game with four saves.
The defeat is WVU’s second of the season, but its first at home and its first to an unranked opponent.
Clemson earned its first ranked victory of the season as it seeks to reclaim a spot in the United Soccer Coaches Poll after falling out earlier this season.
West Virginia returns to the pitch on Sunday when it hosts Bucknell at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.