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UNCG Athletics | September 21, 2021

UNC Greensboro men's soccer shocks No. 2 Clemson, gives Tigers first loss

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The UNC Greensboro (UNCG) men's soccer team took the pitch with a secret no one else knew.

The Spartans believed this night would be special even if the weather was frightful.

It turned out to be memorable.

Playing with swagger, poise and precision, UNCG defeated second-ranked Clemson, 3-1, in a non-conference match at the damp UNCG Soccer Stadium Tuesday night. Theo Collomb scored twice and J.C. Ngando added another goal for the Spartans, who extended their unbeaten streak to four matches.

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When victory was officially secured at 9:11 p.m. on 9-21-21, the Spartans stormed the field and celebrated around each other following a second consecutive dominating performance that left few doubts about who the better team was on this night. 

A few seconds later, UNCG players danced on the field as music blared in the background while their fans cheered and blew horns from the stands. With smiles creasing their perspiration-covered faces, the Spartans enjoyed the satisfying rush of adrenaline and energy following the thrilling victory. They hugged each other. High-fived one another.

This was one of the biggest victories in recent UNCG men's soccer history.

Records

Clemson          7-1-1
UNCG            5-2-1

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Quotable

Collomb on his message to the team before the match.

"We were ready before the kickoff. I told the team before kickoff that we knew who we were and we knew where we wanted to be. To be a great team, we have to beat great teams. We did everything we could to win this game. The thing was to be efficient in the two box, we brought everything and finished the game with 17 shots. That's a very good team. We defended great. It was our night."

Ngando on what the win means to the program.

"I am very happy to be part of this game and our program. We played good tonight and like dogs all the time guarding the ball. It's not just about beating Clemson, it's about us and we worked hard for this moment. I am very proud of this victory. People came to this game to watch Clemson because they were second in the country, but we knew we were a good team as well. We walk together, We play together. We are a family."

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How It Happened

  • Clemson entered the game with six consecutive shutouts and not allowing a goal in 632 minutes.
  • Ngando immediately changed that statistic after converting a Micah Albert pass in the box for a goal, 1:43 into the contest.
  • The crowd went wild when Collomb finished a beautiful play following a perfect pass from Daniel Mangarov.
  • Collomb deposited a rocket into the net to double UNCG's advantage in the 31st minute.
  • Joey Skinner started the scoring play when he broke a defender's ankles with a wicked crossover move that got the crowd hyped.
  • Skinner fired a pass to Mangarov, who found Collomb.
  • The Spartans held a 2-0 lead at intermission.
  • Of course, Clemson being Clemson, the Tigers applied pressure to begin the second half.
  • The Tigers Luis Felipe Fernandez scored off a header from Enrique Montana in 59th minute to slice UNCG's lead in half, 2-1.
  • With the score 2-1, Fernando Garcia made a beautiful tackle to prevent Clemson from attempting a possible game-tying shot.
  • Collomb closed the scoring with a breathtaking goal that was all hustle.
  • He made two Clemson players fall down, lost the ball briefly, gathered it and found the goal for his eighth tally of the season.

Inside the Numbers

  • UNCG outshot Clemson, 17-6.
  • UNCG became the first team in 10 games to score more than one goal against Clemson.
  • The last time Clemson allowed three goals was against Louisville on Oct. 20, 2020.
  • UNCG has scored 14 goals in its last four games (3-0-1).
  • This was Collomb's third multi-scoring game of the season.
  • Collomb has 16 career goals.
  • Skinner has four assists this season to lead the Spartans.
  • Clemson entered the game leading the nation in goals scored with 25.
  • UNCG came into the match fourth in the country in goals scored with 18.
  • This was the first victory over a ranked opponent for third-year head coach Chris Rich.
  • This is UNCG's first win over a ranked opponent since it beat No. 21 Furman, 2-0, in 2017.
  • This was UNCG's first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent since it beat Duke, 3-2, on August 26, 2011.
  • The Spartans last win over an opponent ranked in the Top 10 at the time of the match was a 2-1 double overtime win at No. 6 West Virginia on Nov. 15, 2006 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • UNCG extended its unbeaten streak to four matches.
  • The Spartans finished 1-0-1 against ACC opponents this season.
  • Clemson entered ranked No. 1 in the South region and UNCG entered ranked ninth.

Up Next

  • UNCG concludes its three-game homestand when it hosts VMI in its Southern Conference season opener.

Final Word

Rich on the victory.

"The energy we started with was fantastic. Our level of focus and willingness and desire to win was fantastic in the beginning part of the game. The best part about this win was we played our style. We have a lot of belief in our program. We're a very good team. We knew Clemson was very good and the best team we've played so far. Clemson is the best team in the country, but we're a good team too. I am so proud that we showed that and our belief in our program is very high right now."

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