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Clemson claims No. 6 seed in 2022 College Cup

Matt Mynes, Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson forward Isaiah Reid (27) and defender Joey Skinner (13) celebrate vs. USC Upstate at Historic Riggs Field on Aug. 29, 2022. 

The Tigers are going dancing. 
Clemson (13-6-1) was selected as the No. 6 seed in the College Cup on Monday, earning a first-round bye in the 48-team tournament.
This season marks the 35th time the Tigers have made the tournament, and they are looking to defend their national championship title.
This comes after an impressive ACC Tournament run by the Tigers, picking up strong wins over Notre Dame, Duke and Wake Forest before falling short to Syracuse 2-0 in the championship final last Sunday. 
The reigning champions are familiar to finding success as a low seed, as they won the College Cup as the No. 8 seed in 2021, bringing the Tigers their third national championship in school history.
This time around, Clemson will open up its College Cup journey with a matchup against the UCLA Bruins or the California Baptist Lancers, which face off in the first round on Thursday.
Clemson is no stranger to the other teams in the bracket, as they have faced nine of the other squads at some point in the season.
The Tigers also have experience playing highly-ranked teams.  
In the opening game of the season, head coach Mike Noonan and his team picked up a win over No. 13 Indiana by a score of 3-2. Building on the team’s regular season success, the Tigers also took down Duke, which is No. 7 in the College Cup, in the ACC Tournament, which helped build their resume going into the College Cup rankings.
Clemson has also picked up wins against Wake Forest, Louisville and North Carolina, with its only draw of the season coming against Pittsburgh. All of those teams will play in the College Cup.
The Tigers have the experience which could help them go farther than people expect. Four starters from the National Championship game a year ago have returned.
The most notable returning player is forward Isaiah Reid, who scored the only two goals in the National Championship game last year. Reid will look to make a deep run in his final few games in a Clemson uniform.
Another returning starter to watch in this tournament is junior midfielder Ousmane Sylla. The only player on the First Team All-ACC to represent the Tigers. So far this season, Sylla has five goals and a team-leading seven assists. 
After suffering from a torn ACL last year, Mohamed Seye is another face in the attack to keep note of, as the senior picked up Third Team All-ACC honors.
The midfield for Clemson has never been more dominant, with red-hot Brandon Parrish and Derek Waleffe scoring key goals in the ACC Tournament. Paired with the combination of senior Alvaro Gomez and sophomore Elton Chifamba, the Tigers can be dangerous in the middle.
In the backend, Second Team All-ACC Hamady Diop will be the face of the defense, looking to protect freshman phenom goalkeeper Joseph Andema, who has been the biggest face of Clemson’s freshman class, recording eight shutouts. 
The Tigers will host at Historic Riggs Field on Sunday, Nov. 20, with the time still to be determined. 

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