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Men's Soccer Wins 2023 National Championship

December 11, 2023
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Clemson Sports Talk
Clemson Men’s Soccer celebrates its 4th national championship in Louisville, KY.

Louisville, Ky. – Behind goals from Brandon Parrish and Ousmane Sylla, Clemson men’s soccer won its fourth NCAA Championship in school history on Monday night, downing ACC-foe Notre Dame, 2-1. Clemson’s four team-championships are the most by any program at Clemson. 

Notre Dame was the first to get a good look in the game in the 8’, but Joseph Andema made a diving stop to keep the Fighting Irish off the board. The Tigers had back-to-back corner kick opportunities in the 13’, but could not find the back of the net.

Clemson had another corner opportunity in the 15’, but again couldn’t get a good look on goal. Following the Tigers’ fifth corner of the first half, Brandon Parrish broke the 0-0 tie with a rocket to the top right corner. The corner was cleared by a Notre Dame defender, who sent it right to Parrish, who fired from outside the top of the box for his fourth goal of the season.

Notre Dame had two close looks following the Clemson goal, but Andema made his second save of the night and another Fighting Irish shot went just wide to keep the Tigers’ lead in tact. 

In the 38’, Mohamed Seye narrowly missed doubling the Tigers’ lead on a pass from Alex Meinhard. Notre Dame put pressure on the Tigers for the remaining five minutes of the half, but the Tigers were able to take the 1-0 lead into the locker rooms. 

Notre Dame had three good chances to start the second half, as the Fighting Iris ramped up the offensive pressure against the Tigers. In the 56’, Notre Dame had its’ best look of the night, with a shot by Paddy Burns hitting the crossbar. The Fighting Irish continue to pressure the Tigers, this time getting a shot off in the 58’ that Parrish saved from going in the net. 

In the 63’, Notre Dame’s Bryce Boneau managed to get around the Clemson defense and have a good look at the goal, but missed just left. Five minutes later, the Tigers finally got another good look, with Remi Okunlola taking a pass from Ousmane Sylla and sending it to the lower right corner, but it was saved by ND. 

Sylla netted his 13th goal of the season in the 70’, after sending a pass out wide to Minehard. Minehard crossed it back to Sylla, who fired it past the diving keeper to give the Tigers’ the 2-0 lead. 

Notre Dame had a chance to cut into the lead in the 83’, but KK Baffour’s shot was wide right. In the 89’, Notre Dame used a penalty kick off of a handball in the box to finally break through and become the first team in the NCAA Tournament to score a goal against the Tigers.

With the win, Clemson joins Maryland, UCLA, and San Francisco as men’s soccer programs with four national championships. 

Brandon Parrish, Shawn Smart, Alex Meinhard, and Joseph Andema were all named all-tournament team, while Pape Mar Boye was named the most outstanding defensive player and Ousmane Sylla was named the most outstanding offensive player.

Notes:

  • Clemson men’s soccer has won its fourth national championship.
  • Men’s soccer’s fourth-team national championship is the most by any program at Clemson.
  • Men’s soccer’s 2023 national championship came 729 days after its 2021 championship. That is the second-shortest duration between team national championships at Clemson since the 728 days between football’s titles in the 2016 and 2018 seasons.
  • Clemson is now one of seven schools in the country with four or more national championships in men’s soccer.
    • Saint Louis (10)
    • Indiana (8)
    • Virginia (7)
    • Maryland (4)
    • UCLA (4)
    • San Francisco (4)
    • Clemson (4). 
  • Clemson is just the third men’s soccer program to win two or more championships within any three-year period since 2000.
    • Indiana (2003-2004)
    • Stanford (2015-2017) 
  • Clemson’s 2023 squad becomes the eighth team and just the fourth program in ACC history to win an ACC Tournament Championship and NCAA Championship in men’s soccer during the same season. The ACC men’s soccer tournament was first held in 1987.
    • Virginia – 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2009
    • Maryland – 2008
    • North Carolina – 2011
    • Clemson – 2023
  • Head Coach Mike Noonan becomes the second men’s soccer coach at Clemson to win two national championships while leading the Tigers. 
    • Dr. I.M. Ibrahim (1984, 1987) 
    • Mike Noonan (2021, 2023)
  • Noonan becomes the third coach at Clemson to win two national championships while leading the Tigers. 
    • Dr. I.M. Ibrahim (1984, 1987)
    • Dabo Swinney (2016, 2018)
    • Mike Noonan (2021, 2023)
  • Noonan has become the fourth coach since 2000 to win two or more men’s soccer national championships.
    • Mike Noonan (Clemson; 2021, 2023)
    • George Gelnovatch (Virginia; 2009, 2014)
    • Sasho Cirovski (Maryland; 2005, 2008, 2018)
    • Jeremy Gunn (Stanford; 2015-2017) 
  • Clemson’s 2023 roster features six members of the program’s 2021 men’s soccer national championship.
    • Mohamed Seye
    • Enrique Montana III
    • Titus Sandy Jr.
    • Brandon Parrish
    • Ousmane Sylla
    • Adam Lundegard
  • There have only ever been 11 members of the Clemson men’s soccer program who won multiple NCAA Championships during their time at Clemson. 
    • 1984 & 1987 – Jamey Rootes, Paul Carollo, Bruce Murray, Paul Rutenis, Tim Genovese
    • 2021 & 2023 – Mohamed Seye, Enrique Montana III, Titus Sandy Jr., Brandon Parrish, Ousmane Sylla, Adam Lundegard.
  • Nathan Richmond joins his father, Richie Richmond, as a national champions.
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