June 2, 2003
There was nothing tainted about Clemson's 1984 NCAA Soccer Championship. Clemson faced its toughest regular season schedule in history as seven teams were ranked in the top 20 and two others were top 10 teams in Division II. Then, Clemson faced the toughest possible draw in the NCAA tournament and conquered all the odds.
The season opened with a 5-0 win over Connecticut, the nation's number-two ranked team. The Tigers overwhelmed the Huskies, but, losses to UCLA (2-1) and Indiana (4-3) at the Indiana Classic, and a 2-0 loss at Duke left Clemson with a 5-3 record heading into the last week of September. It was time for some lineup changes.
Dr. I.M. Ibrahim moved more of his younger players into the attacking positions on the team and the results were gratifying. Clemson won its next 10 matches, including an overtime win at South Carolina, 3-2, a contest in which Clemson actually trailed in the extra period. Only a November 2 loss to Virginia spoiled the rest of the schedule and Clemson qualified for the NCAA tournament for the 12th time in 13 years with a 17-4 regular season record.
Clemson had to face 15th-ranked N.C. State in the first round of the tournament at Raleigh. This was the team Clemson had beaten in the last week of the regular season and all the motivational factors were on State's side. But Clemson got a late goal from Bruce Murray to capture a 2-1 win on the road. In the next contest Clemson had to face the nation's top-ranked team, Alabama A&M. The Tigers put on a scoring blitz in the first half with three quick goals in the first 20 minutes on the way to a 3-1 victory.
Clemson's starting goalkeeper, Tim Genovese, was injured in that game, however, and the Tigers would have to go with a walk-on, Shawn Cartmill, the rest of the tournament. The native of Atlanta, GA, responded like a seasoned veteran in the quarterfinal victory at Virginia with a 1-0 shutout.
It was on to UCLA for the semifinals and this would be the easiest task for Clemson. The Tigers scored four quick goals and coasted to a 4-1 victory. Clemson then met number-two ranked, and two-time defending National Champion Indiana in the national championship game at the Kingdome in Seattle.
Clemson completed its sweep with a 2-1 victory. John Lee scored on a header in front of the net with 1:42 left to give Clemson its first national championship in soccer and its second national team title overall.
Clemson had beaten the number one, two, three and four seeds in the tournament in winning the title, the first time in the history of any NCAA event that a team had beaten the top four teams in gaining its championship.
Maxwell Amatasiro was named the Championship Game's MVP as he assisted on both Clemson goals. Adubarie Otorubio was named a first-team All-American and was an all-conference choice for the fourth straight season. Bruce Murray was named national Rookie-of-the-Year and captain Charlie Morgan was a first-team All-ACC choice.