The UNC men’s club soccer team will travel to Clemson University this weekend for their first tournament of the season. While the tournament doesn’t ensure the team a chance in the post-season, it gives the boys an opportunity to compete against other top-tier schools.
“It’s normally a pretty good indicator of who are the top teams in the region,” senior co-president Jonathan Alvarez said. “Whoever wins that usually ends up getting a bid to nationals, which is obviously huge.”
Last year, the Tar Heels played in this tournament and lost to the University of Virginia, who later went on to win the national championship. UNC later beat UVA in the regional semifinal to qualify for nationals, where they lost to Texas A&M University in the 16th round.
UNC won both the Clemson tournament and the national championship in 2015. Alvarez was on that team, and he said that this year’s group is just as good, if not better. He said that the team has a strong defense, and even though the attack hasn't been in sync, he’s hopeful that they’ll find their form this weekend and start scoring goals.
Newcomer Arran Maclennan, a foreign exchange student from Scotland, is hoping to get on the score sheet during the upcoming tournament. He said the team has been very welcoming, and that’s been refreshing for him.