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ACC’s Back on Top: Clemson beats Washington, 2-0, to win NCAA Men’s Soccer national championship

Clemson won the NCAA men’s soccer national championship Sunday with a 2-0 triumph over Washington in the title match of the NCAA Men’s College Cup in front of 7,238 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
The Tigers were seeded 8th overall in the tournament, behind other ACC teams including Pitt, Notre Dame and Duke, but they got on a roll when it mattered most.
ACC teams have now won 18 NCAA men’s soccer championships. The ACC has had at least one conference team in the NCAA Men’s College Cup in 20 of the last 21 seasons.

The last time the ACC won a Men’s Soccer National Championship was in 2014.

ACC hasn’t won a NCAA men’s soccer national championship since 2014

This also marks the 11th time the ACC has won both the women’s and men’s soccer national championships in the same year. Florida State claimed the women’s crown on Monday night. The ACC has won three team national championships this fall – men’s soccer (Clemson), women’s soccer (Florida State) and women’s cross country (NC State) – with an opportunity to win another this weekend in women’s volleyball (Louisville and Pitt).

The tournament’s No. 8 seed, Clemson (16-5-2) notched the third national championship in program history, second most of any current ACC program (Virginia, 7). The Tigers also won national championships in 1984 and 1987. Clemson eliminated three of the tournament’s top four seeds en route to the title. In addition to defeating No. 2 Washington (18-3-2) on Sunday, the Tigers knocked out top-seeded Oregon State and No. 4 seed Notre Dame in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

Isaiah Reid scored both of Clemson’s goals, recording a brace in the first 15 minutes of the first half. He scored just 27 seconds into the game to give the Tigers an early advantage and then added a beautiful header in the 15th minute for some added cushion.Reid was named the College Cup’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player. After making two saves Sunday and recording a clean sheet, Clemson goalkeeper George Marks was tabbed the College Cup’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

Six current ACC programs have won at least one national championship, the most of any conference. Eleven different league programs have reached the Men’s College Cup. Sixty-one ACC teams have reached the Men’s College Cup all-time.

2021 NCAA Men’s College Cup All-Tournament Team

Name, School, Position
Oskar Agren, Clemson, D
Luis Felipe Fernandez-Salvador, Clemson, M
Justin Malou, Clemson, D
Zach Riviere, Georgetown, M/F
Jack Lynn, Notre Dame, F
Lucas Meek, Washington, M
Charlie Ostrem, Washington, D
Ryan Sailor, Washington, D
Dylan Teves, Washington, M
Offensive Most Outstanding Player: Isaiah Reid, Clemson, F

Defensive Most Outstanding Player: George Marks, Clemson, GK

2021 NCAA Men’s College Cup

Friday, Dec. 10 
WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.
No. 8 Clemson 1, No. 4 Notre Dame 1 (2OT; Clemson advances 5-3 on PKs)

No. 2 Washington 2, No. 3 Georgetown 1

Sunday, Dec. 12 – Championship Game

WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.
Clemson 2, Washington 0

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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