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Clemson United wins 2nd national title in 3 years after topping Notre Dame

Toby Corriston
Clemson forward Alex Meinhard sets up for pass against Notre Dame in the 2023 National Championship game. Meinhard finished the game with one assist and helped the Tigers defeat the Irish 2-1 to win Clemson’s second national championship in three years.

The Clemson men’s soccer team made program history on Monday night when it defeated Notre Dame 2-1 to win the national championship for the second time in three years.

Taking on the Irish in Louisville, Kentucky, the Tigers scored early after midfielder Brandon Parrish sent a shot in the bottom right corner of the goal to give Clemson a one-goal lead with roughly 18 minutes left in the first half.

Clemson star midfielder Ousmane Sylla extended the Tigers’ lead to 2-0 in the 70th minute when he received a pass from Alex Meinhard and snuck a shot past Notre Dame goalkeeper Bryan Dowd. Although Notre Dame got on the board in the final minute, the Tigers’ two goals were too much for the Irish to overcome.

With the victory, Clemson won its fourth national title in program history, adding to the 2021, 1987 and 1984 seasons when the team won it all. Clemson is one of four schools to have a men’s soccer program win four national championships, joining Maryland, UCLA and San Francisco, according to Clemson Athletics. Three other schools, St. Louis (9), Indiana (8) and Virginia (7), are the only other programs that have won more than four national titles.

Throughout the game, Notre Dame had ample opportunities to score, finishing the game with 15 shots compared to the Tigers’ nine. The Irish’s lone score came on a penalty kick by Notre Dame defender Paddy Burnsny in the 90th minute.

But despite multiple close calls, Clemson’s defense held strong, just like it had during the entire NCAA Tournament coming into Monday. Prior to the Irish’s last-minute score, the Tigers had shut out all four of their opponents in the tournament.

After coming up short in 2022, Parrish, a senior, came into this season hungry to bring another championship to Clemson. And after a hard-fought postseason, he and the Tigers are back at the top of the mountain.

“We had a revenge tour, and we came in this year and stuck together for the last eight months,” Parrish said after the game. “We were family. That’s why we got this trophy in front of us.”

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About the Contributors
Justin Robertson
Justin Robertson, Associate Editor
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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