Clemson women's lacrosse is on to the next round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday versus Notre Dame in Charlotte (Clemson athletics graphic).
Clemson women's lacrosse is on to the next round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday versus Notre Dame in Charlotte (Clemson athletics graphic).

Tigers down Panthers for program's first ACC Tournament win


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CLEMSON, S.C. – Scoring an ACC home season-high number of goals, the No. 7 seeded Clemson Tigers (11-6, 4-6) secured their first win in the ACC Tournament in program history, defeating the No. 10 seeded Pittsburgh Panthers (5-13, 0-10 ACC) in the first round, 18-15 on Sunday, April 21 at the Clemson Lacrosse Complex. The Tigers now advance to the Quarterfinals where they will face the No. 2 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Charlotte, N.C. at American Legion Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, April 24 at 5:00 p.m.

Regan Byrne and Natalie Shurtleff both built upon their big games Thursday against Pitt. For the second game in a row, Regan Byrne led Clemson’s offense with five goals this time. After scoring the game tying and game winning goals in OT against Pitt Thursday, Shurtleff recorded another hat trick in the rematch against Pitt. A total of nine different Tigers would find the back of the net.

Clemson’s draw team dominated, winning 76% of the draw controls on the day. The Tigers took advantage of their free position opportunities, scoring 10 of their 18 goals from the free position. Clemson’s defense came up with seven caused turnovers and goalie Emily Lamparter stopped eight on 15 shots on cage.

Caitlin McElwee scored the first goal within the first two minutes of action, registering her 13th of the season. After Pitt joined the Tigers in scoring with a goal of their own, Claire Bockstie added two more goals for Clemson, marking her 40th goal of the season. Defender Bella D’Gracia then got in on the scoring when she took the ball more than 50 yards for her first of her collegiate career to bring Clemson back ahead 4-3.

Freshman Regan Byrne ended Pitt’s three goal scoring run as she made several Pitt defenders miss and scored within the first 17 seconds of the second quarter. Clemson would go on to score five more goals in the second quarter, all of which came from free positions. Outscoring Pitt 6-3 in the second quarter, Clemson went into halftime with a 10-9 lead over Pitt.

Natalie Shurtleff opened the scoring in the second half with yet another free position goal for the Tigers. Summer Agostino then found Blaire Byrne who put the ball in the back of the net with 11:38 left in the third quarter. The Panthers responded by adding a goal, but Shurtleff immediately responded by adding another free position goal for the Tigers with 7:19 left in the third quarter, earning her second straight game with a hat trick. After another goal from the Panthers, Regan Byrne scored her third goal of the game following an assist from Bockstie in the last 30 seconds of the quarter to give Clemson the 14-11 lead over Pitt heading into the fourth.

In the final 15 minutes of action, seven of the eight goals scored were from free positions. Summer Agostino and Regan Byrne controlled the scoring in the fourth quarter with each registering two goals. Both the Panthers and the Tigers would score four times, making the final score 18-15.

UP NEXT: Following the victory over the Panthers, the Clemson Tigers will travel to Charlotte, N.C. to face the No. 2 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Wednesday, April 24 at 5:00 p.m. at American Legion Memorial Stadium. In the teams’ last meeting, the Irish outlasted the Tigers 14-13 in double overtime.


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