CARY, N.C. — The Huskies seized their moments and now they will try to capture a men’s soccer national championship.

No. 2 seed Washington (18-1-2) scored a pair of second-half goals to take control, then held on to defeat Georgetown 2-1 on Friday night in the College Cup semifinals at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

The Huskies will play No. 8 seed Clemson (15-5-2) at 11 a.m. Sunday for the national title.

Washington men’s soccer coach Jamie Clark said beforehand that the competition is so good at the Final Four that it’s unreasonable for a team to dominate, and that the winner is usually the team that seizes one of the few moments when a goal is possible.

“We’ve been seizing moments lately and if you can take advantage of your moments, you are going to keep winning games,” Clark said. “Somehow, some way, we are playing again and we are delighted.”

Lucas Meek, a redshirt junior midfielder, scored the game’s first goal in the 54th minute, firing a cross toward Gio Miglietti. Fortunately for the Huskies, Meek’s pass barely missed Miglietti and instead it curved into the goal.


Georgetown goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis had gotten into position to defend Miglietti and was helpless to stop the ball.

“Isn’t that the question of the day,” Meek said of his intention on that play. “I was thinking to myself, ‘Put in a good cross in the right area,’ and luckily it worked out. It turned out to be a good shot. You can call it a cross, you can call in a shot. Whatever you want.”

Three minutes later, UW junior defender Charlie Ostrem, last year’s Pac-12 defender of the year, sent a missile from about 25 yards out into the top right corner of the net. Nikopolidis never had a chance.

“That’s a once-in-a-lifetime goal and it came at just the right time,” Ostrem said. “When I took the touch, I was thinking, ‘Hit the back post, high, and hopefully it goes in.’ “

Said Nikopolidis: “That was a great shot. I don’t know who the guy was, but credit to him.”

Washington goalkeeper Sam Fowler made a great save in the 70th minute. That became even bigger when Georgetown’s Zach Riviere scored in the 80th minute on a header that Fowler could barely get a hand on.


UW could not rest until the final second. Georgetown (18-3-1) had a free kick just past midfield with eight seconds left. The scramble for the long pass ended with the ball going to Riviere, and his shot sailed over the net.

Ostrem said he was “terrified” when Riviere took his shot.

“It would have been a spectacular goal — it wasn’t an easy miss — and it would have been an unbelievable effort to put in, but we thought maybe he could,” said Georgetown coach Brian Wiese.

The Huskies erupted in celebration when the shot missed, knowing their historic season — reaching the College Cup for the first time — would continue.

The game got started more than an hour late, thanks to the first game not having a winner through two overtimes. Clemson defeated No. 4 seed Notre Dame 4-3 on penalty kicks after the score was deadlocked at 1-1.

That dramatic ending was followed by a rather uneventful first half between the Huskies and the Hoyas with neither team mustering many scoring chances.

Each team had just two shots in the first half, which was as even as the stats indicated.


“We’ve got to be a ton more dangerous,” Wiese told a TV reporter at halftime.

Clark could have said the same thing about his team, which boasts one of the top offenses in the country (11th in the nation in goals at 2.30 per game entering the match) and had not been shut out all season.

Georgetown defeated Washington 2-1 in the 2019 Elite Eight with a pair of goals in the final 19 minutes after UW had taken an early 1-0 lead.

This time the stakes were even bigger in a matchup that pitted longtime friends Clark and Wiese. Clark played at Stanford when Wiese was an assistant coach there for Jamie’s father, Bobby.

But competition no doubt trumped friendship Friday night. Clark, who felt like they let one get away in the 2019 game, saw his team close this game out.

“Congratulations to Washington; it was a well-deserved victory for them,” said Wiese, who said he is rooting for UW on Sunday. “I couldn’t be happier for Jamie and the program he has built and getting a chance to play for a national championship is something that was inevitable for that program, and unfortunately, we helped and aided that process. But they are a fantastic team.”


Said Georgetown star midfielder Sean Zawadzki when asked if UW was the best team the Hoyas have played: “I would say yes. Top to bottom very talented players.”

And now the Huskies will get ready for Clemson with little time to celebrate or rest. But UW, the highest-seeded team in the College Cup, certainly looks up to the challenge.

“This is our first time to the College Cup for UW, and honestly, anything after being here is just extra,” Ostrem said. “If we can get a (national title) and bring it home to our alumni and fans it would mean the world.”