Winthrop got a ruthless women’s soccer schooling from the visiting Clemson Tigers Sunday night, falling 7-0 before a nice crowd at Eagle Field.
Spencer Smith’s Winthrop side was short several key contributors, notably forward Krystyna Freda, who scored 17 goals in 19 games last season and was the Big South’s women’s soccer Attacking Player of the Year. She’s suspended for the first few games of the 2014 campaign due to offseason legal trouble.
Freda was missed, the Eagles lacking cutting edge up front. Clemson out-shot Winthrop 15-1 in the first half, with 12 of those attempts on sophomore keeper Carolina Duncan’s goal. Duncan started in place of Amelia Henderson who is completing her recovery from a torn ACL.
It was Winthrop that got the first clear-cut chance of the match, senior midfielder Grace Radler rushing in on goal, but Clemson keeper Kailen Sheridan, just back from the Under-20 World Cup where she represented Canada, smothered the ball before the Winthrop player could get a toe in.
That would be one of the last chances for the Eagles, though, as the ACC visitors grabbed a 3-0 lead before the half. A fine 13th minute through-ball found Tori Andreski steaming through the right channel and she slammed a first-time shot past Duncan and into the top left corner to open the scoring for the Tigers.
The lead doubled in the 22nd minute. Clemson’s intricate 1-2 passing near the Winthrop penalty area was incisive and Catrina Atanda created one such opportunity, sliding the ball through for Andreski to drill a low shot beyond Duncan for her second and a 2-0 score.
Eddie Radwanski’s Tigers had quality on the bench too, and when Paige Reckert entered the match midway through the first half, she made an instant impact. Duncan denied her, tipping over for a corner kick, before Reckert smacked a close-range effort off the crossbar. Clemson’s Katie Sprouse had better fortune, the sophomore defender left alone to hammer a shot past Duncan’s outstretched arms from a full 25 yards to make it 3-0 before the intermission.
Any thoughts of a second half comeback were squashed instantly.
Tina Shakes buried a low strike less than a minute into the second half to make it 4-0. Reckert made it 5-0 in the 50th minute, latching on to a slide-rule through ball, rounding Duncan, and finishing into the open goal. Shakes added a second to make it 6-0 in the 60th minute, and Andreski grabbed her hat-trick with three minutes left to round out the scoring.
There was a silver-lining for Winthrop when Henderson replaced Duncan in goal with about 19 minutes left in the game, her first appearance of the season. The Eagles fall to 0-2 after a regular season-opening 2-0 loss to Davidson last Friday. Smith’s group return to action Friday at home against Brevard.