When asked about the officiating in Sunday's game against No. 11 Duke, a clearly disgruntled Carlos Somoano answered without really giving an answer.
“You’re not allowed to comment about these things in the ACC," the UNC men's soccer head coach said. "So no comment."
The Tar Heels earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory against their rival on Sunday — UNC's first home win against the Blue Devils since 2020. In 90 minutes of highly physical play, 36 fouls, 15 yellow cards and two red cards were assessed. Most notably, the chippiness resulted in the loss of North Carolina graduate midfielder Quenzi Huerman, whose absence was felt by the Tar Heels in the second half as they attempted to hold on to their narrow lead.
In the 32nd minute, Huerman scored his sixth goal of the year, a go-ahead shot to the top-right corner of the net to put the Tar Heels up 2-1.
Nearly midway through the second half, a hard tackle by Huerman on Duke midfielder Wayne Frederick notched Huerman's second yellow of the game — resulting in a red card.
This left the Tar Heels, who scored two goals in the first half after an early 1-0 deficit, down a man for the last 24 minutes.
"When we go down a guy like [Huerman], it's hard to just continue pressing them," junior midfielder Andrew Czech said. "At that point, it's we need to get every guy behind the ball, don't let them get any good chances and see if we can maybe get one on the counter."
Playing 11-on-10, the Tar Heels defended against a strong Blue Devil surge, in which Duke recorded seven shots in the last nine minutes of action.
With two minutes left, the Blue Devils came within inches of a tying goal. Redshirt sophomore goalie Andrew Cordes, who was starting in his first game of the season, slapped away a shot on goal from Frederick, who collected the rebound and sent a second shot off the crossbar.