After a season shortened by COVID-19, the North Carolina men’s soccer team’s year came to an abrupt end on Sunday afternoon after a last-minute overtime goal by Notre Dame put the Fighting Irish on top, 1-0, in the ACC Quarterfinal.
Although the Tar Heels are done for the time being, they will compete again in the spring, this time with an NCAA Tournament appearance on the line. In September, the NCAA approved a plan to move the Men’s College Cup to May with regular season play taking place from Feb. 3 to April 17.
The Tar Heels added a total of 18 new players to this season’s roster — 16 first-years and two graduate transfers — that were tasked with learning to play together and contribute meaningful minutes in a season that left little room for error with just six regular season games taking place before the ACC Tournament.
The newcomers on the team had flashes of greatness throughout the season, like when Filippo Zattarin, a graduate transfer from Saint Mary’s, was named National Player of the Week after heading in a buzzer beating goal to put the Tar Heels on top against then-No. 3 Clemson.
Another shining moment for a newcomer came when first-year Akeim Clarke assisted Taff Wadda for a goal to put the nail in the coffin in UNC’s second win over Duke.