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Clemson, Notre Dame advance to set up all-ACC College Cup final

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Eno Nto scored his 11th goal of the season, Bryan Dowd recorded his 11th shutout of the season and No. 2 Notre Dame beat unranked and short-handed Oregon State 1-0 on Friday to reach the College Cup championship game for the first time since 2013.

Notre Dame (13-2-6), which has lost once since September, will play No. 9 Clemson in the national championship game Monday. The Irish, making their third College Cup appearance, lost to eventual national champion Clemson in 2021, and won their only title over Maryland in 2013.

Oregon State (11-6-5), in its first College Cup, was without head coach Greg Dalby and starting midfielder Javier Armas for violation of NCAA rules.

Nto entered as a substitute in the 30th minute and scored in the 51st. Wyatt Lewis drew the defense at the top of the box and sent a pass to the penalty spot for a wide-open Nto, who settled the ball and half-volleyed it into the bottom right of the net.

Notre Dame has won 34 straight games when scoring first. The Irish continued their season trend of dominating the second half, outscoring opponents 27-6 after halftime.

The Beavers had their eight-game unbeaten run come to an end.

Earlier Friday, Clemson (14-3-5) advanced to its sixth national championship match in school history after securing a 1-0 victory over No. 5 West Virginia. Shawn Smart scored his second goal of the season in the 37th minute.

The Tigers are outscoring their opponents 7-0 in the NCAA tournament — with goals from six different players. Clemson has also scored in the first half of each tournament game.

The Tigers put five shots on goal, and surrendered just two against the Mountaineers in the teams’ first meeting since 1974. The Tigers’ 58 goals lead the nation.

West Virginia (17-3-4) earned its first trip to the College Cup after a win over Loyola Marymount that saw three goals in the first 15 minutes.

In Monday’s title game, Notre Dame looks for its second win of the season against Clemson after winning 3-2 on Sept. 9 in an ACC opener. Nto also scored in that game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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