The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Clemson Takes NCAA Soccer Title

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

Clemson is the best college soccer team in the country.

On Dec. 11, the NCAA soccer final was played by two talented teams: Clemson and Notre Dame. The tournament, which started Nov 16, included the 48 best teams in the U.S. Clemson, who finished their season with a 15-3-5 record, won the final match 2-1.

According to there are 211 NCAA D1 soccer teams, but only 202 programs were eligible to compete in the National Championship. These 211 programs support approximately 5,700 male soccer players across the country.

Twenty-three conference champions qualified automatically for the tournament; the rest were selected by the NCAA D1 committee. The teams were seeded, so that 16 teams automatically advanced to the second round where the other 32 played the first round.

In all of sports, soccer is the one that gets the most international recruits to play for NCAA schools, according to Hockey has undoubtedly gained in popularity since the arrival of big names to Major League Soccer (MLS) like Lionel Messi, who plays for Inter Miami CF.

Nicolas Fonseca, a former Williston player from Mexico who now plays D! soccer for Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, made the NCAA playoffs. He reflected on the level of play in the Clemson victory

“The final was very back to back, two teams from the ACC conference, which is the most competitive conference,” he said.  “Two teams with a huge winning history and they demonstrated [that] in this game. It showed the high level that college soccer has.”

Fonseca believes it is harder to get seen by a coach if you’re an international athlete.

“Being international, you have a disadvantage, [because] college coaches don’t travel often to other countries,” he explained. “They are accustomed [to the reality] that some internationals don’t want to come play in America and that’s why it’s hard if your not from or in the United States. Also D1 is the most competitive level in college and everyone wants to play there.”

Austin Briggs ’24, co-Captain of the Williston Boys Soccer team, is a big fan of college soccer, and believes soccer needs to be more encouraged in America.

“I think it should be more promoted around the country, because although the players have amazing opportunities and get to play in an incredible stadium, it doesn’t look full,” he said. “I think if there was more promotion about it to hype it up then it could be more exciting.”

Austin thinks more colleges need to add Men’s Soccer to their athletic programs.

“I also think it’s interesting that both teams in the final were from the ACC and how that conference is just so much better than the rest,” he said.

Briggs believes soccer and basketball players have the most difficult time making it to a Division 1 team.

“I think soccer and basketball is the toughest because recruiting is very difficult now with the transfer portal,” Austin said. “It seems coaches care more about the team the player is coming from that than if the player is actually good,” he said.

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