There will be a new National Champion in NCAA Men’s Soccer in 2022 as the defending National Champion Clemson Men’s Soccer team fell to UCLA 2-1 Sunday evening at Historic Riggs Field on the Clemson campus on a chilly evening.
The Tigers struck first on a penalty shot by Hamady Diop just over 21 minutes into the match.
UCLA was on the attack early and often though and didn’t appear to be fatigued at all, despite this being their second match in three days and having to travel all the way across the country after defeating Cal Baptist Thursday.
The Bruins tied it up in the 31st minute of the match on a goal by Andre Ochoa and the initial half ended in a 1-1 tie.
UCLA scored the winner in the 78th minute on a shot by Tucker Lepley and while the Tigers had opportunities, they were unable to take advantage.
Clemson finished with 13 shots on goal to 11 by UCLA.
A season that began with Clemson ranked number 1 and a 6-match winning streak, ended on a roller coaster and 13-7-1. The Tigers fought through illness and injury to make it to the finals of the ACC Tournament, earn the 6th national seed, a first-round bye and home-field advantage, but fell to a game UCLA squad.
It was a match between two storied soccer programs as the two have seven national championships between the two teams.
After an up and down season, Clemson men’s soccer fell to UCLA in round of 32
After the Tigers 6-0 start, they went through a 2-5-1 stretch, before rallying to finish the regular season in style, winning their final three matches before beating Duke and Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament.
The Tigers fell 2-0 to Syracuse in the ACC Final, but their performance earned a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.
UCLA moved to 12-6-1 on the year and will continue their tour of the country next Saturday when they play at Vermont.