Clemson men’s soccer wins first NCAA National Championship since 1987
CARY, N.C. (WIS) - The No. 8 Clemson men’s soccer team dominated No. 2 Washington to take home their first NCAA National Championship since 1987.
Flawless. That’s how the Tigers played in the school’s fifth National Championship appearance, routing Washington with a final of 2-0.
Clemson eliminated three of the tournament’s top four seeds en route to the title.
“Anybody who’s watched our season this year has seen it,” said Clemson head coach Mike Noonan. “Whatever we’ve come up against, number one seed, away on the road, playing at home, doesn’t make a difference, they were gonna take on all comers.”
Man of the match, junior Isaiah Reid, surely saved his greatest colligate performance for the biggest stage in college soccer, being named the College Cup’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
Just 27 seconds into the match, the Rock Hill native put the ball in the back of the net.
An Oskar Ågren clearance forced the Washington goalkeeper to make a decision. Ultimately, he missed in his effort to clear the ball leaving Reid in on an empty goal.
The Tigers went up 1-0 seconds into the match.
Reid didn’t stop there.
About 15 minutes later, a brilliant cross off the left foot of senior Charlie Asensio set him up for an incredible header, extending their lead 2-0 at the half.
Staying on the front foot, Clemson did not sit back allowing Washington to attack. Disallowing set pieces, the Tigers remained in control through the second half, keeping the score at 2-0, in time winning the game.
Clemson’s road to this point has not been easy as Noonan has hinted at many times -- their resiliency was on full display during their most important match of the year.
“Yes, we have a really good amount of talent but it takes more than that,” said Noonan. “The intangibles on this team are as good as any I’ve ever had in the previous six years.”
The Tigers come home to South Carolina with yet another piece of hardware to display for the university’s incredible athletic resume.
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