Riggs Field's 100th Anniversary is Friday
THE MODERATOR: Both our soccer programs will be playing. The men play Virginia Tech at 5:00, and the women play Wake Forest at 7:30. Both teams have been ranked in the top 5 in the nation, certainly look forward to all the festivities for this weekend.
We thought we'd just bring you here to tell us a little bit about their team so far and we'll go from there. Coach Noonan?
COACH NOONAN: Thanks, Tim. Eddie and I were discussing outside. Who are we playing in football this weekend because we haven't heard anything about it, you guys writing all the time. I had no idea who we're playing. You can get into the soccer stadium if you call early and come early (laughing).
No, it's going to be a great weekend all the way around for Clemson. These are the types of weekends that I think both Eddie and I came to Clemson to enjoy. We're looking forward to doing that. One of our core values for our team is to respect, honor and add to the tradition of Clemson soccer.
Obviously, the men's soccer team has won two National Championships and one of them was actually played on Riggs Field.
So we're delighted about the big weekend. The teams have played well up until now. We've been stretched a couple times. I still think there is more to come from the team. They need to continue to be challenged. Obviously, last year we had a very, very good year. Continuing that level of success is very difficult.
It's very, very difficult -- championships are not an annual thing, as many may want them to be; they're an occasional thing -- to keep the group focused as you change and move into a very, very difficult ACC conference.
The RPIs came out yesterday, the first RPI came out, and as I joked in our staff meeting yesterday, if you're not No. 1 in the RPI. It doesn't mean anything around here because the women are No. 1 in the country. We were No. 3 in the country. I think that's a testament to the hard work that Eddie has done with his program.
But the ACC, Wake Forest was one, North Carolina was two, Clemson was three, and Notre Dame was fourth in the country, which tells you.
I think that every team in our conference was in the top 40 or 45. So it's a very, very competitive conference. We've got some great games ahead of us. We've got some great home games ahead of us, but we're focusing tonight on Gardner-Webb, and championships aren't necessarily won in home games where they're easy. In our sport they're won on rainy Tuesday nights away from home. So we need to focus on that tonight and that's what we're going to do.
COACH RADWANSKI: I'm going to echo some of Mike's comments. For me it's a real honor and a privilege to be at a place like Clemson. I love history and tradition, and the fact that I've been telling our team and I've been saying it since preseason, with this day arriving on Friday with it being the hundredth anniversary, when it goes into the record books, your names are going to be on the stat sheet. Mike and my names are going to be on there. These are the coaches for the hundredth anniversary of the soccer program here at historic Riggs. That's something that's going to be around well after we're gone.
So to be a part of this tradition and this family is quite an honor, and we both take it with the highest of integrity.
Mike kind of mentioned that the current RPI, we're sitting here at 1. Hopefully we can finish there. But to come from when I first arrived, we were somewhere between 170 and 200. I was lost in the abyss back then. But the hard work that's been done to get there, shows you the type of kids that we have.
They're a grinding-type of group, wonderful mentality, wonderful ladies, a great group that obviously we had a very good season last year on and off the field. The highest GPA in the country last year, top 15 in the country last year.
Our conference is just ridiculous. Out of any sport in college sports, there is no sport and no conference that can match what goes on in ACC women's soccer. Two seasons ago three of the Final Four teams were teams in our conference.
You look at the top six teams in the country, and probably five of them are from our conference. Every game, game-in and game-out, is like a Final Four game.
We're three games into our season. We've had two games on the road. We play the defending national champion the other day. We've got two wins, six points out of nine, which is pretty good at this stage for where we are. Our focus, we don't have a game tonight. We play, obviously, on Friday, and we host Wake Forest in an ACC game. It's going to be an important game for us. Another opportunity to grab three points.
Our girls have really high ambitions for this season. We get a lot of confidence. We're following my brother here who is a year ahead of us in the rebuild process, so I'm kind of hoping we get a little bit of that magic that the men had last year with their run to the ACC title.
We're looking to do good things with our program. We're trying to make it better, we're trying to make Clemson proud. We want to get back in the tournament. We want to ring the bell and go deep and do the best job that we can do. And I know our girls are excited for the weekend. We as a staff are excited for the weekend.