Clemson Unanimous No. 1 in Preseason Poll

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson United was voted the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll. The Tigers earned all eight first place votes following their 2021 National Championship winning season. The complete top-25 …

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson United was voted the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll. The Tigers earned all eight first place votes following their 2021 National Championship winning season. The complete top-25 is linked HERE.

“It is another first for our program and one we are proud of,” raved Head Coach Mike Noonan. “In the past few years, Clemson Men’s Soccer has attained a No. 1 final season ranking, a No. 1 RPI ranking, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and now a No. 1 preseason ranking. We are always cognizant that the rankings at the end of the year are what is most important and we are looking forward to getting started on the 2022 season on August 26 vs Indiana at Riggs.”

Clemson is one of six ACC teams ranked in the pre-season top-25. Notre Dame earned the No. 4 spot, while Pitt begins its campaign at No. 7. Duke, Wake Forest and North Carolina round out the conference’s representation at No. 12, 15 and 24, respectively.

The Tigers return All-ACC players Ousmane Sylla and Hamady Diop from their championship side, along with College Cup Offensive MVP Isaiah Reid.

Noonan’s 13th season at the helm will begin on August 26 at Historic Riggs Field against eight-time NCAA Champion and No. 13 ranked Indiana in a battle of college soccer’s blue bloods.

For all the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson men’s soccer, please visit ClemsonTigers.com and follow @ClemsonMSoccer on Twitter and Instagram. 

Clemson, Rittman reach new agreement

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson University and head softball coach John Rittman have agreed to a five-year contract extension through 2027, the athletic department announced Thursday. The terms of the contract were approved by the Clemson University Board …

CLEMSON, S.C.  — Clemson University and head softball coach John Rittman have agreed to a five-year contract extension through 2027, the athletic department announced Thursday. The terms of the contract were approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees Compensation Committee. 

“The speed in which Coach Rittman and his staff have elevated our softball program to national prominence has been so impactful to Clemson,”said Director of Athletics Graham Neff. “We are excited to watch this program flourish under Coach Rittman’s leadership at Clemson for years to come.” 

“I am extremely honored and proud to be the Head Softball Coach at Clemson University,” said Rittman. “I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, President Clements, Director of Athletics Graham Neff, Associate Athletics Director Natalie Honnen and IPTAY for their continued support and commitment to me and our program. Clemson is such a special place, and I am so grateful to be able to work alongside such outstanding coaches, staff, players and alums. Together we have built a winning culture, and we will continue working hard to achieve all our goals both on and off the field.” 

Rittman has compiled a 105-33 record over the first three seasons of the Clemson softball program, including posting a 62-11 record at McWhorter Stadium. Rittman was named the 2021 ACC Coach of the Year and guided the Tigers to become 2021 ACC Regular Season Champions, advanced to the 2021 and 2022 ACC Championship games and made two NCAA Postseason appearances. 

Most recently, Clemson hosted the 2022 Clemson NCAA Softball Regional where the softball team swept the regional against Auburn, Louisiana and UNC Wilmington after scoring 18 runs while shutting out opponents in every game and run-ruling Louisiana and UNCW. The Tigers advanced to the program’s first Super Regional taking on Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla. 

With Rittman at the helm, the Tigers have propelled themselves to new heights each year. During the 2022 season, Clemson upset then-No. 6 Washington, 2-0, to mark the program’s first top-10 win. The Tigers later went on to upset then-No. 2 Virginia Tech, 4-1, in the ACC Championship semifinals to mark the highest victory over a ranked opponent. 

Clemson followed that by playing its 100th game in program history and tied Clemson women’s tennis for the most wins through a program’s first 100 games with a 78-22 record. With that record, Rittman solidified himself as the winningest coach among active head coaches at Clemson surpassing Dabo Swinney, who held a 74-26 record. The Tigers continued to reach new levels by winning their 100th game in only 130 games on May 1 with a 3-2 win against Georgia Tech on Senior Day to become the second-fastest program at Clemson to reach 100 wins trailing only women’s tennis (128).

Under Rittman’s direction, the softball program has 14 All-ACC selections, 14 All-ACC Academic selections and 61 ACC Academic Honor Roll honorees. Valerie Cagle is a two-time NFCA All-American and graduate Sam Russ was named to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America Third Team to become softball’s first Academic All-American. Three Tigers have also been awarded the Weaver-James-Corrigan-Swofford Postgraduate Scholarship Award from the ACC.

— Courtesy of Clemson Athletic Communications

Cagle named NFCA first-team All-American

CLEMSON, S.C. – Redshirt sophomore Valerie Cagle (Yorktown, Va.) was named a National FastPitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First Team All-American as a utility/pitcher, the organization announced Wednesday. With the announcement, Cagle earns …

CLEMSON, S.C. – Redshirt sophomore Valerie Cagle (Yorktown, Va.) was named a National FastPitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First Team All-American as a utility/pitcher, the organization announced Wednesday. With the announcement, Cagle earns All-America honors in back-to-back seasons after being named a second team honoree in 2021.

NFCA Release | Valerie Cagle 2022 Stats

Cagle helped propel the Tigers to another historical season after starting every game. At the plate, she tallied 57 hits, including 10 doubles, one triple and 13 home runs, to post a .308 average. She was second on the team with 44 RBIs and scored 34 runs while boasting a .584 slugging percentage. The redshirt sophomore also posted a 1.92 ERA, which is sixth in the ACC, through 32 appearances and 160.2 innings pitched. She earned 16 victories and led the ACC with seven shutouts. She was fifth in the ACC with 176 strikeouts and sixth with three saves.

Cagle is one of nine ACC student-athletes to be named to the All-America list and joins Virginia Tech’s Keely Rochard (at-large pitcher) as the only other ACC student-athlete to earn first team accolades. The All-American honor is added to Cagle’s other 2022 awards that includes a First Team All-ACC nod, selected to the ACC All-Tournament Team, being named to the NFCA All-Regional Southeast First Team and being an USA Softball Player of the Year Top 25 Finalist.

Only players who were selected to All-Region teams were eligible for consideration at the All-American level. Each All-American team is comprised of 18 players, including: three pitchers, one catcher, one first base, one second base, one third base, one shortstop, three outfielders, one utility/pitcher, one utility/non-pitcher and five at-large positions. At-large positions were nominated by the NFCA All-Region committee representatives.

–Courtesy of Clemson Athletic Communications

Oklahoma State ends Clemson’s historic season

The final chapter of Clemson’s historic season came Friday night as the Tigers fell 5-1 to Oklahoma State in the Stillwater Super Regional. The Cowgirls took advantage of some gifts in the first inning. Cagle got strike three on the leadoff batter …

The final chapter of Clemson’s historic season came Friday night as the Tigers fell 5-1 to Oklahoma State in the Stillwater Super Regional.

The Cowgirls took advantage of some gifts in the first inning.  Cagle got strike three on the leadoff batter but she reached on a passed ball.  A steal, wild pitch and ground ball to short put Oklahoma State up 1-0 after the top of the first.

In the second inning Clemson had three errors allowing the Cowgirls to stretch the lead to 4-0.

McKenzie Clark got the Tigers first run of the Super Regional in the third when she hit a solo home run to center.  After three the Tigers trailed 4-1.

Oklahoma State added a run in the fourth on a solo home run.

Valerie Cagle went the distance for the Tigers in the circle.  Cagle gave up 6 hits, 5 runs and one earned run.

Clemson drops Game 1 of the Stillwatwer Super Regional

Clemson softball lost Game 1 of the Stillwater Super Regional Thurdsy, falling to Oklahoma State and Kelly Maxwell, 2-0. Offense was hard to come by for the Tigers against the Big 12 Co-Pitcher of the Year. Maxwell two-hit Clemson Thursday night, …

Clemson softball lost Game 1 of the Stillwater Super Regional Thurdsy, falling to Oklahoma State and Kelly Maxwell, 2-0.

Offense was hard to come by for the Tigers against the Big 12 Co-Pitcher of the Year. Maxwell two-hit Clemson Thursday night, while striking out 13 in the process.

Clemson attempted a late-inning rally after a Marissa Guimbarda one-out single. Aby Viera spoiled many drop pitches, but Maxwell struck her out on an 0-2 rise ball. She then finished off Alia Logoleo, as she struck out the side in the top of the seventh and recorded her 13th and final strikeout of the game.

Millie Thomspon, who had only allowed one hit in the NCAA tournament coming into Thuesday’s matchup was, unfortunately, outdueled by Maxwell. Thompson allowed two runs on seevn hits, while striking out and walking two apiece.

Clemson didn’t record its first hit until the top of the fourth inning when Valrie Cagle roped a leadoff single into right field. After Marissa Guimbarda struck out, Carlee Shannon, who pinch ran for Cagle, was called for interference.

Aby Viera grounded out to Karli Petty, who stepped on second base and spiked the relay throw to first. Not only did Shannon leave early, but she also interfered with Petty’s ability to turn the double play.

Speaking with the ESPN2 broadcast, Clemson coach John Rittman explained that the ruling was by the book, although he was noticeably displeased when the umpire did provide an explanation.

Howard answered with a five-pitch inning.

The wheels started to fall off for Thompson an inning later, as the Cowgirls made some necassray adjustments at the plate.

Oklahoma State senior catcher, Taylor Tuck, led off the inning with a double. After a sacrifice bunt and a one-out walk, senior outfielder Chyenne Factor delivered a two-run single to give her team a 2-0 lead.

Thompson was able to escape trouble after loading the bases, but the damage was done.

Oklahoma State is now 34-3 this season when it scores first.

Clemson will look to even the series against the Cowgirls tomorrow night at 9 p.m. with Cagle in the circle. Oklahoma State is one win away from making a short trip down the road to the College World Series.

Pereira, Clark: Tigers plan ‘to keep doing what we’ve been doing’ in supers

Clemson’s softball team is heading to its first Super Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Before heading there, infielder Cammy Pereira and outfielder McKenzie Clark took time to preview the challenge that awaits against No. 7 seed Oklahoma State. …

Clemson’s softball team is heading to its first Super Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Before heading there, infielder Cammy Pereira and outfielder McKenzie Clark took time to preview the challenge that awaits against No. 7 seed Oklahoma State.

Following a weekend in McWhorter Stadium allowing no runs for all three games, the Tigers (42-15) are looking ahead at their Super Regional opponent this weekend. Although this is the team’s first-ever time appearing in a Super Regional, Clemson is going into this weekend just like they have every other game and ready to take it one game at a time.

“We took regionals one step at a time,” Pereira stated before departing to Oklahoma on Tuesday. “We talked about that over and over again, just one step at a time, and that’s really what you have to do because there is no one that we can look at and see as an easy opponent. So, right now, focusing on Super Regionals, obviously we know that two wins gets us through, but nobody has ever been here before. Nobody knows what to expect, so we just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing.” 

Even though the team is staying focused on the task at hand, it does not mean that they are not taking in the moment ahead of them and realizing just how exciting it is being in the Super Regional, especially for a program only in its third year.

“Just to think about winning it all or just going there in general, it just brings goosebumps to me,” Clark said. “It’s super exciting, but you can’t look too far ahead. You have to kind of play where your feet are at, but it’s just all excitement from me.”

While using their excitement as momentum heading into this weekend, the Tigers also understand the strong opponent they are facing while also balancing how to handle the nerves that come along with playing at such high stakes.  

“No matter who your opponent is, it is just all about the heart and the fight to get through it,” Pereira said. “It is not always about the name on your jersey. It’s just about the heart that your team has, so we try not to focus too much on the specifics of the team. We know what we need to know.”

The Tigers are set to face Oklahoma State beginning Thursday at 9:30 p.m. Game 2 will be Friday at 6 p.m. with an if-necessary game slated for Saturday.

Pereira, Clark preview Super Regional

The Tigers are heading to their first Super Regional in Stillwater, OK. Before heading off to the Super Regionals Cammy Pereira and McKenzie Clark took time to preview the challenge that awaits. Watch the two Clemson softball stars discuss on TCITV:

The Tigers are heading to their first Super Regional in Stillwater, OK.  Before heading off to the Super Regionals Cammy Pereira and McKenzie Clark took time to preview the challenge that awaits.

Watch the two Clemson softball stars discuss on TCITV:

The champs talk about the historic regional win

Clemson, S.C. – Head coach John Rittman, Valerie Cagle, Millie Thompson and Cammy Periera couldn’t have been happier talking about the 8-0 win over Louisiana to win the regional Sunday. Watch the postgame press conference on TCITV:

Clemson, S.C. — Head coach John Rittman, Valerie Cagle, Millie Thompson and Cammy Periera couldn’t have been happier talking about the 8-0 win over Louisiana to win the regional Sunday.

Watch the postgame press conference on TCITV:

Recent startup program’s success helping with another at Clemson

Allison Kwolek is starting a sports program from scratch at Clemson, and she often mentions the success of one that recently did the same when trying to sell hers on the recruiting trail. “I talk about softball a lot in recruiting,” Clemson’s …

Allison Kwolek is starting a sports program from scratch at Clemson, and she often mentions the success of one that recently did the same when trying to sell hers on the recruiting trail.

“I talk about softball a lot in recruiting,” Clemson’s lacrosse coach recently told The Clemson Insider. “Not just as an example of them just starting out but winning and playing at the highest level.”

Kwolek was hired as the school’s first-ever lacrosse coach in August. The program won’t play its inaugural season until next spring. In the meantime, Kwolek, who came to Clemson from Richmond, has been busy hiring a coaching staff and trying to sell a vision to prospective student-athletes, which is where softball comes in.

Clemson softball is in just its third season of existence, though that hasn’t stopped John Rittman’s program from being among the ACC’s best almost immediately. The Tigers won a regular-season conference title last year, have played in back-to-back league tournament championship games and will host their first-ever regional this week as the No. 10 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

“For our recruits to see that, to see that with the funding and resources at Clemson, you can be very good very quickly,” Kwolek said.

As for those resources, the lacrosse program will have its own on-campus stadium as well as a 9,000-square foot operations complex that will house locker rooms, coaches offices and other amenities. A 10,000-square foot training and recovery center for lacrosse, rowing and gymnastics is also part of a $27.5-million facility expansion plan for women’s sports the school announced earlier this year.

Construction on those facilities will begin later this year and are projected to be completed late next year, according to the school.

“I think just the funding and resources that are being poured into the sports is incredible,” Kwolek said. “To have a facility that’s dedicated just to women’s lacrosse, from our ops building to our stadium, it’s one of a kind and really special.”

So what about recruiting?

Kwolek signed the program’s inaugural recruiting class late last year, which included seven players. She will get a chance to ink one more before the Tigers play their first-ever lacrosse game early next year.

So far, Kwolek doesn’t have any complaints when it comes to attracting talent to Clemson.

“Recruiting has gone really well,” she said. “People want to go to Clemson, and people want to play lacrosse at Clemson. My inbox is full, so it’s been really great. I’m excited to see some top classes that are coming to Clemson to play lacrosse.”

Photo courtesy of Clemson Athletics

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Bart Boatwright’s Photo Gallery: Clemson 1, Auburn 0

Clemson, S.C. – It was an electric atmosphere Saturday afternoon at McWhorter Stadium where Clemson downed Auburn 1-0. Check out some great pictures from the win in Bart Boatwright’s Photo Gallery.

Clemson, S.C. — It was an electric atmosphere Saturday afternoon at McWhorter Stadium where Clemson downed Auburn 1-0.

Check out some great pictures from the win in Bart Boatwright’s Photo Gallery.