Routh strikes for Clemson


September 14, 2005|By Bill Free

Jeff Routh has made the most of his sudden switch from defender to striker for the No. 12 Clemson soccer team.

The second-year freshman from Towson High was listed as a defender at the start of the season and didn't start the first two games. But 11 days ago in the season opener against South Carolina, he came in as a striker with five minutes left.

"They decided to put me at striker because I'm a tall guy," said the 6-foot-2, 180-pound player who gained many of his soccer skills playing for the Reston, Va., Soccer Club.

He would score the game-tying goal on a header with 22 seconds left in regulation, and Clemson went on to win, 2-1, in double overtime.

Routh now has a team-leading three goals in four games and all three have come on rather spectacular plays. He has scored on two headers and off a corner kick for the 3-0-1 Tigers, who come to College Park for a 7 o'clock date with Maryland Friday night.

The traditional game with South Carolina was memorable for Routh and the Tigers.

"That was quite a game, with 5,000 people there and everybody wearing orange," said Routh. "It was also our football opener that weekend. It was crazy there, with people waving flags and bands parading into the stadium. I had never seen anything like that."

Two games later, he got his first start at striker against Old Dominion in a scoreless tie in the ODU Classic, before scoring twice in a 3-2 double overtime decision over William and Mary in the ODU Classic.

A Swartz twin meeting

Michelle Swartz (Severna Park) had made three straight trips to the NCAA field hockey tournament with her Richmond teammates and recorded three consecutive victories over her twin, Emily, and Towson University when she came to Towson last Sunday for a game.

It was most likely the final meeting for the seniors. Certainly, Emily had the credentials this season to help her Towson mates end the Spiders' domination, thanks in large part to Michelle's strong play in the goal. Emily was tied for the national Division I lead in assists with seven and led the Tigers in points with 13, in addition to scoring three goals in a 5-0 team start.

But again it was Michelle and the Spiders who prevailed, 2-0, lifting the Spiders to a 4-2 record and giving Michelle two shutouts this season. Emily (Severna Park) had to settle for one of three shots on Michelle.

Express mail

Wilmington (Del.) College junior soccer forward Colby Bugda (Bel Air) had two goals and one assist in a 3-2 victory over St. Thomas Aquinas, giving her a total of three goals and two assists along with two game-winning goals in six games this season.

Her teammate, freshman soccer goalkeeper Catie Joynes (Bel Air), is second in the nation in Division II in saves a game with 14.75.

Have a Postcard question? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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