When Georgia Southern freshman midfielder Alhaji Tambadu got his second yellow card of the match in the 25th minute followed almost immediately by a Clemson goal, hope seemed bleak for the Eagles to upset the No. 5 team in the country.
But when GS sophomore midfielder Josh Bronstorph knocked in a penalty kick just after halftime, the score was tied 1-1 and the Eagles ratcheted up their defense. There was a chance for a monumental upset.
For the rest of regulation, neither team scored even though Clemson had 16 shots to GS’s 4. The back line for the Eagles, including sophomore Justin Little and freshman Victor Gustafsson, stepped up and made each Clemson chance as difficult as possible.
The record-sized crowd at Eagle Field cheered on their team as the match went to overtime, which consists in college soccer of two 10-minute periods and a golden goal rule, meaning the first goal scored wins the match.
Clemson’s Kimarni Smith netted a goal for Clemson with 7 seconds left in the first overtime period, breaking the Eagles’ hearts and ending their upset dreams.
At the end of the night, GS was 1-3 on the season. But their confidence should do nothing but grow after hanging with the No. 5 ranked team in the nation while down a man.
Next up for the Eagles is Houston Baptist, which will visit Savannah for a match on the Armstrong Field on Friday at 7:30 p.m.