By Matson Montilla
On December 12th, the Clemson men's soccer team conquered the nation and claimed the title after defeating the University of Washington, 2-0 in the 2021 NCAA National Championship Game in Cary, NC.
Isaiah Reid was the star of the game after scoring both of Clemson's goals in the first half. The first goal by Reid was purely because of effort and awareness. Washington's keeper attempted to clear the ball from the box after an aired pass by one of Clemson's players. Fortunately, Reid kept with the play and caused the Huskies' keeper to whiff on the ball. Reid was then able to tap the ball into the net for the match's first goal.
Less than 15 minutes later, Reid struck again, only this time with his head. Clemson was able to mount an attack into Washington's box despite being outnumbered six to three. After the ball was passed to senior defender Charlie Asensio on the left side of the box, he delivered a perfect cross to Reid. Then, the Rock Hill, SC native was able to head the ball into the top of the net from about 12 yards out to extend the lead to two.
From that point on, Clemson had all the momentum and didn't look back as they played disciplined defense and had an incredible shutout performance. Clemson goalkeeper George Marks also had a couple of crucial saves in the game that ultimately ended Washington's slim hope of a comeback. Marks was named Defensive MVP of the College Cup.
The path to becoming National Champions was not easy for the Tigers. Aside from their second-round matchup with the University of Denver, the Tigers faced top-ten opponents in each of their playoff games, including No. 9 Kentucky, No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 2 Washington and No. 1 Oregon State. Furthermore, two of their games went to penalty kicks, and one went to double overtime.
This is the third National Championship that Clemson men's soccer has won. The previous two occurred in the 80s when Clemson defeated Indiana in 1984 and San Diego State in 1987.
Congrats to the team from everyone at The ROAR!