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Parrish, Sylla help Clemson beat Notre Dame for program's fourth men's soccer title

Brandon Parrish Clemson Nolan Spicer Notre Dame Brandon Parrish and Nolan Spicer - The Canadian Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Seniors Brandon Parrish and Ousmane Sylla each scored, and No. 9 Clemson held off No. 2 Notre Dame 2-1 on Monday night to claim the program's second national championship in three seasons.

Clemson (15-3-5), making its sixth championship game appearance in school history and second in three seasons, has won titles in 1984, 1987 and 2021. The Tigers also knocked off Notre Dame in the 2021 semifinals.

Notre Dame (13-3-6) was seeking its second championship in program history after winning the College Cup in 2013.

Parrish scored his eighth goal of the season for 1-0 lead in the 27th minute. Parrish chested a clearance attempt and sent a deflected shot from distance past a diving Bryan Dowd.

Clemson improved to 11-0-1 when leading at the half this season.

Parrish also cleared the ball off the goal line in the 58th to maintain a 1-0 lead.

Sylla, named the offensive most outstanding player, scored his 13th goal of the season, to go with 10 assists, in the 70th for a 2-0 lead. Sylla played it out wide near the midfield circle to Alex Meinhard, who dribbled in space to get into the box for a cross to the penalty spot for a wide-open finish.

Joseph Andema nearly recorded his fifth straight shutout in the NCAA Tournament until Tyler Trimnal was whistled for a handball in the 89th minute and Paddy Burns converted the penalty kick.

Burns also had a good scoring chance in the 56th when he was left wide open at the back post, but his off-balance shot went off the crossbar.

Andema made three saves for Clemson, which allowed 18 goals in its first 18 games of the season and just one in the last five. The Tigers went 449 minutes without giving up a goal in the tournament — nearly becoming the sixth champion to not allow a postseason goal.

The Tigers and Irish played earlier this season, with Notre Dame winning 3-2 on Sept. 9. Parrish also scored in that game, tying it at 2-all before Notre Dame's Daniel Russo scored the winner off a free kick in the 50th.


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