CLEMSON, S.C. – The sixth-seeded Clemson men’s soccer team (13-7-1, 3-4-1 ACC) fell to the UCLA Bruins (12-6-1, 4-4-1 Pac-12) at Historic Riggs Field in the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament by a score of 2-1 on Sunday night. This was the Tigers’ 35th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 18th appearance in the round of 32.
Through the first 20 minutes of the first half, the Tigers and Bruins went back and forth on offense. One of Clemson’s best chances came on a breakaway by Mohamed Seye in the 19th minute, but UCLA keeper Nate Crockford came out and stopped his shot.
In the 22nd minute, Hamady Diop converted a penalty kick after Seye drew contact in the box to put the Tigers up on the board first. In the 31st minute, the Bruins responded with a goal of their own. With much traffic in the box, keeper Joseph Andema never saw UCLA’s Andre Ochoa’s shot.
Both teams came out hot to start the second half. The teams went back and forth, but with just over 11 minutes left in the game, Tucker Lepley of UCLA hit a low liner into the bottom right corner to give the Bruins the edge and they never looked back. Clemson put up seven shots in the second half but was unable to capitalize due to UCLA’s backline and keeper Nate Crockford, who finished with five saves.
Upon the conclusion of the season, Head Coach Mike Noonan stated, “I just got done telling them this is a special, special group of young men. I told the guys it’s about the love they bring to each other, and that’s why this is so hard.”
Clemson forced seven corner kicks and outshot UCLA 13-11, with six on goal.
Notes on 2022 Season:
- Clemson has appeared in nine of the past ten NCAA Tournaments.
- The Tigers are 58-29-8 all-time in the NCAA tournament and 15-2-1 in the Round of 32 with a 42-12-2 overall NCAA record at home.
- Clemson’s 35 NCAA Tournament appearances is tied for seventh-most all-time, while UCLA’s 47 is tied for second-most.
- Clemson made its third appearance in the conference title match in the last four seasons, and fifth during Mike Noonan’s 13-year tenure, most of any school in that timeframe.
- Four Clemson players earned All-ACC accolades this season. Sylla got a much-deserved spot on the All-ACC first team. Hamady Diop secured a spot on the All-ACC second team for the second consecutive year. Mohamed Seye was awarded a place on the third team, and goalkeeper Joseph Andema made the All-Freshman team.
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