Clemson Men’s Soccer wins National Championship

Sports

This marks the third time Clemson has won a National Championship in men’s soccer. (Clemson Athletics)

CARY, N.C. — Junior forward Isaiah Reid’s goal just 27 seconds into the College Cup final proved decisive as the Clemson Tigers upended No. 2 Washington, 2-0, to win the 2021 Men’s Soccer National Championship. The victory marked the Tigers’ third national title, joining the 1984 and 1987 teams, and the first under Head Coach Mike Noonan. 

Several thousand Clemson fans, who made the four-hour trek to WakeMed Soccer park in Cary, N.C., shouted out the final ten seconds, as the club piled upon one another. Clemson knocked off the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4, No. 9 and overall seeds on its tournament run. 

The title was the seventh team National Championship in Clemson Athletics history, joining football (1981, 2016, 2018), men’s golf (2003). Clemson is the only program in the country with three or more national championships in both men’s soccer and football. 

Reid, a Rock Hill, S.C. native, named the College Cup Offensive Most Outstanding Player, scored both Clemson goals in helping the Tigers to the historic 2-0 victory. 

Reid’s early stunner came when an Oskar Ågren clearance forced the Washington goalkeeper, Sam Fowler, to make a decision. Fowler came out to play a high bounce outside the box and missed in his effort to clear the ball, leaving Reid in on an empty goal. Reid took one touch and buried it in the open net for his eighth goal of the season. 

Reid’s first-half scoring wasn’t done, as a brilliant cross off the left foot of senior Charlie Asensio found Reid about 12 yards from the goal. The junior forward lofted a header over the keeper, who watched helplessly as the ball sailed into the top left corner, doubling the Tigers lead and giving Reid the team-high in goals on the season with nine. 

The second half was controlled beautifully by the Tigers, and George Marks, who was later named the Defensive MVP of the College Cup, organized the Tigers in the back end. He saved both of his chances on the day in picking up the clean sheet, his ninth of the season. 

The Tigers managed just four shots in the game, but made them count, as two of them found the back of the net. Washington managed nine shots, with two finding the frame. 

The Tigers are set to return to Clemson on Sunday night. 

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