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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC men's soccer draws, 1-1, against No. 10 Notre Dame

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UNC sophomore midfielder Sam Williams (7) slide tackles the ball during the men’s soccer game vs. Notre Dame at Dorrance Field on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.

The North Carolina men’s soccer team (2-0-3, 0-0-2 ACC) drew, 1-1, against No. 10 Notre Dame (4-1-2, 1-0-1 ACC) in its second conference game of the season Friday night at Dorrance Field.

UNC entered the game with a strong and aggressive offense that showcased intricate ball movement in each play, led by graduate forwards Quenzi Huerman and Martin Vician.

UNC graduate midfielder/forward Quenzi Huerman (11) dribbles the ball during the men’s soccer game against Notre Dame at Dorrance Field on Sept. 15, 2023. UNC tied Notre Dame 1-1.


Immediately, within the first two minutes of the half, Vician was able to utilize this style to get a shot off. However, UNC's first real chance came in minute four when the ball met the feet of graduate forward David Bercedo, who fired off a sharp shot in the direction of junior midfielder Andrew Czech. Czech, however, was unable to finish the chance after Notre Dame goalkeeper Bryan Dowd grabbed the ball midair.  

Huerman also consistently took powerful shots throughout the game, contributing greatly to UNC’s aggressive offensive effort. His fourth shot of the game, which was saved by Dowd, was followed minutes later by a retaliation from junior midfielder Ahmad Al-Qaq and Vician, who went on to score UNC’s first, and only, goal of the night.


UNC graduate forward Martin Vician (9) celebrates his goal during the men’s soccer game against Notre Dame at Dorrance Field on Sept. 15, 2023. UNC tied Notre Dame 1-1.


“Ahmad made a great run on the left, then found me in the box, close to the goal,” Vician said. “Yeah, a beautiful pass from him, and I did well finding my space there.”

Notre Dame’s defense efforts were lackluster, allowing North Carolina to get off 19 shots. However, Dowd was formidable, proving difficult for UNC to get past despite the Tar Heels racking up five shots on goal. Throughout Notre Dames first six games, Dowd only allowed a combined four goals. Against the Tar Heels, he accumulated four saves which proved crucial in preventing a loss for the Fighting Irish. 

Going into the match, Notre Dame was looking to continue its strong offense, which it had displayed throughout the start of the season. However, the Fighting Irish were unable to take their first shot until 40 minutes into the game, of the foot of defender Kyle Genebacher, which evidenced their slow offensive start to the match-up. 

In the second half, Notre Dame implemented a shift in its offensive strategy, implementing a more aggressive scheme. Twenty five minutes in, the Fighting Irish had already tallied three shots — a stark contrast to single one they managed throughout the entire first half. Notre Dame continued to build offensive momentum throughout the second period, leading to a goal in the 83rd minute from forward Daniel Russo to tie the game. 

North Carolina was unable to find an answer in the remaining minutes, resulting in a1-1 draw — its third of the season. 

“The reality is we scored only a goal against [Virginia] Tech and only a goal against Notre Dame,” head coach Carlos Somoano said. “We should be proud of that, because it’s not easy to do, but we’ve got to start hitting on more of those [shots].”

The Tar Heels will return to Dorrance Field to take on UNC Wilmington Tuesday at 7 p.m.


UNC graduate student forward Martin Vician (9), sophomore midfielder/forward Parker O'Ferral (21), and senior midfielder Ahmad Al-Qad (34) celebrate after Vician hits first goal of game against Notre Dame on Friday, Sept. 15, at Dorrance Field.


@COREYMDAVIS04

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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