Duke Athletics

VIDEO: Duke women’s soccer wins on goal with absurd bend

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Bend it like Blue Devils?

Duke women’s soccer beat Clemson on Saturday 3-2 on an absurd goal scored with 14 minutes remaining. Senior Taylor Racioppi whipped the ball with the outside of her foot, and it bent completely across the face of goal, leaving a diving Clemson goalkeeper Sandy MacIver absolutely no chance as it tucked into the top-right corner of the goal.

The curl on the ball combined with the shot off the outside of the foot renders this goal one of the best you’ll see.

Not only is the goal fantastic to watch, the win is massive for the Blue Devils. The game elevated the team to second in the conference with just four more regular season games to go. Coming into the match, Duke rested just one point above the Tigers in the standings.

Racioppi has been selected to train with the U.S. youth setup in the past, and has been a critical part of the Duke team over the last four years. She has 77 appearances for the school, with 73 of those starts, and has scored 21 goals and 17 assists including six goals and an assist this season.

MLS Combine begins Friday: Names to know one week from the SuperDraft

Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images
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How important, for better or worse, is the MLS Combine in relation to a player’s draft prospects?

Eighteen of the 21 players who were first round selections at the 2015 MLS SuperDraft participated in the combine, and it took to pick No. 8 for a non-combine player to be selected (Clement Simonin of NC State).

All five of the Generation Adidas players aren’t heading to the combine. Outside of those five, you’ll see most of Jan. 14’s draftees coming from the Combine.

[ MLS: Meet the five Generation Adidas players for the 2016 SuperDraft ]

The 2016 Combine will pit four squads of 15 players against each other for matches on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday. Full rosters are here.

A disclaimer: the MLS Combine is far from ideal. Many players won’t be playing in their natural positions, and most have been out of game action for a month or more.

We’ll list the draft order below, and won’t bother you with a mock draft at this point. But here are some names to monitor over the next five days, ones who could make big moves under the bright lights.

Brandon Vincent, D, Stanford — Jordan Morris is a stud, sure, but his college teammate could honestly be the No. 1 overall pick if Chicago sees it close and personal this week.

Callum Irving, GK, Kentucky — The Canadian backstop played with the Whitecaps Academy before starring for the Wildcats.

Neco Brett, F, Robert Morris — A bit mercurial and undersized, you cannot ignore that Brett scored 15, 14 and 13 goals in his last three seasons in Moon. The Jamaican born striker has speed to burn and a classy touch.

Patrick Hodan, M, Notre Dame — Has a legitimate chance to be a 10-year vet in the league. A solid leader who was invited to Andreas Herzog’s U-23 College ID camp in the summer.

Kyle Fisher, D, Clemson — After a College Cup season with the Tigers, Fisher is poised to be a first year contributed in Major League Soccer.

James Moberg, M, Washington — Big and coming off a season-ending knee injury, the 6-foot-2 senior has a chance to show off the promise of elite playmaking he showed in his first three seasons (6, 9 and 6 assists).

Thomas Sanner, F, Princeton — 6-foot-4 forwards with noses for goal don’t grow on trees, and Sanner is the Tigers’ third-all-time leading scorer with 32 in 64 games.

  1. Chicago Fire
  2. Colorado Rapids
  3. Philadelphia Union
  4. New York City FC
  5. Real Salt Lake
  6. Philadelphia Union
  7. Orlando City
  8. San Jose Earthquakes
  9. Toronto FC
  10. New England Revolution
  11. Sporting KC
  12. L.A. Galaxy
  13. D.C. United
  14. Montreal Impact
  15. Seattle Sounders
  16. Vancouver Whitecaps
  17. FC Dallas
  18. New York Red Bulls
  19. Columbus Crew
  20. Portland Timbers

Stanford thumps Clemson, 4-0, to win NCAA men’s title


KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) U.S. national team forward Jordan Morris scored twice to lead Stanford to its first NCAA title in men’s soccer with a 4-0 win over Clemson in Sunday’s final.

The Cardinal (18-2-3) needed just 87 seconds to take the lead when Corey Baird and Eric Verso helped set up Morris for his first goal.

Morris scored again in the 51st minute to put Stanford up 2-0. Brandon Vincent converted a penalty kick 20 minutes later to make it 3-0.

Verso closed out the scoring in the 74th minute.

The Tigers (17-3-3) didn’t score in either game in the College Cup, winning on penalty kicks in the semifinals.

Stanford, Clemson to face off in NCAA national championship

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) After 110 tough minutes in the semifinals, both Stanford and Clemson advanced after penalty kick shootouts to the national championship of the College Cup on Sunday.

“We didn’t win,” Clemson coach Mike Noonan said. “We drew. We advanced.”

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

The previous national championship Clemson (17-2-4) won was in 1987. The first one came in 1984.

“There were a lot of the guys from the ’84 and the ’87 team (at the semifinal match),” Noonan said. “We’ve been supported by them throughout the entire run and their message to us was, it’s been 30 years. It’s time. It’s about you guys and it’s about your team. We want to start talking about 2015.”

Stanford’s (17-2-3) never won a soccer national championship, but coach Jeremy Gunn has. He coached the Fort Lewis College squad from 1999 to 2006, advancing to the NCAA Division II championship three times, taking the title in 2005.

“I think what really does help is that I’ve been to, what, seven Final Fours now,” Gunn said. “You get to see that you can come here and run around and try to jump through every hoop and answer every text, though I’m not sure texts were invented when I first started. You realize just how to manage it for the players.”

[ WATCH: Bobby Wood nets gorgeous brace for Union Berlin ]

In its semifinal, Clemson was led by goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell, who made eight saves in regulation and overtime and allowed Syracuse to only score on one of four penalty kicks. His eight saves were the highest he’s had in a match all season. Through the regular season, Tarbell had 75 saves and eight shutouts, the highest in the ACC.

“It’s the result of doing your best every day in training and in games,” Tarbell said. “Approaching every game exactly the same way no matter what stage it is. Just pray and dreams for games like that. Things have to fall your way as a goalkeeper and they did, and that helped us get all the way to the finals.”

Stanford is led by Jordan Morris, the first college player to be called up to the U.S. men’s national team since 1999. Morris had three shots in the semifinal against Akron. His penalty kick was blocked. Though Morris has an international cap and has had international success, his team keeps him grounded.

“He’s got great teammates who love him,” Gunn said. “But they love him because of who he is.”

Top U.S. prospects to meet in College Cup final between Stanford, Clemson

AP Photo/Colin E. Braley
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A pair of scoreless semis have given us a marquee matchup of what could be the U.S. men’s national team future standouts in the College Cup final on Sunday.

To be fair, Stanford’s Jordan Morris is already on the full USMNT. Yet he’ll go head-to-head — or boot-to-glove — with U.S. U-23 goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell and Clemson.

They took different paths to the game despite the twin 0-0 score lines. Tarbell was absolutely fantastic for Clemson, who was under constant pressure from Syracuse.

[ WATCH: Bobby Wood nets gorgeous brace for Union Berlin ]

The Tigers have been among the nation’s best all year, but the Orange dominated early. Syracuse survived a lull caused by the departure of instrumental captain Liam Callahan to restore said dominance into the second half and extra time.

But Tarbell stood tall and got the dang thing to kicks, where Clemson prevailed to advance to its first final since 1987, when it won the second of its two NCAA titles.

On the end was Morris and Stanford, who had the majority of chances against No. 4 Akron. The Zips particularly couldn’t get finish on the chances handed to dangerous speedster Richie Laryea, but the Cardinal looked more likely to score for most of the game.

Unlike the Clemson-Syracuse set of PKs, the team with the better 90 minutes prevailed in this one. Akron missed a couple pivotal kicks, one that could’ve sealed their spot in the final, before goalkeeper Andrew Epstein slammed the door shut with a save on the Zips’ last effort.

This is Stanford’s third appearance in the final, having lost to Indiana and UCLA in 1998 and 2002, respectively.

Other prospects to watch:

  • Brandon Vincent, Senior, Stanford — the Cardinal’s stalwart back has been just as strong — if not stronger — than Morris in recent games.
  • Kyle Fisher, Senior, Clemson — The young back’s game is MLS-ready.
  • T.J. Casner, Senior, Clemson — The Californian leads Clemson in goals (10).
  • Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Sophomore, Stanford — The son of a hockey player, the standout defender has been in U.S. U-23 identification camp and also started 22 games for the Cardinal.