The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

No. 11 UNC men's soccer beats Louisville, 2-0, on senior night

UNC graduate midfielder/forward Quenzi Huerman (11), sophomore defender Charlie Harper (18), and junior defender Matt Edwards (26) celebrate Huerman’s goal during the men’s soccer game against Louisville at Dorrance Field on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.

The No. 11 North Carolina men's soccer team (7-2-5, 2-2-3 ACC) defeated Louisville (9-4-2, 2-4-1 ACC), 2-0, Sunday night at home to break its three game scoreless streak against conference opponents. 

The win marks UNC’s second conference victory of the season, its only other ACC win being against No. 9 Duke. 

UNC has struggled this season with an inability to convert scoring opportunities into goals. But, North Carolina’s top-scoring graduate forward Quenzi Huerman changed that today, scoring right off the bat in the third minute of the game to put UNC up, 1-0. 

“The biggest difference between the last couple games and tonight is that we had an extra two days to recover before the game,” head coach Carlos Somoano said. “So what did we do? We’re just fresher.” 

However, the early lead resulted in complacency from the Tar Heels, who carried out a series of sloppy plays following the goal. A mistouch near the net by the North Carolina defense almost led to a scoring opportunity for the Cardinals, but was prevented by a defensive header from graduate defender Til Zinnhardt. 

“The wonderful thing with [Zinnhardt] is he’s like that guy that doesn’t ever falter,” Somoano said.

This sequence was followed by a careless pass up the middle of the pitch by graduate forward David Bercedo, which allowed Lousiville to break away once more. However, the Cardinals were again stymied by the Tar Heel defensive line, which was able to force a bad shot that failed to connect with the net in order to sustain the lead.

Despite these errors, UNC maintained a strong ability to win balls in the final third, which allowed multiple chances throughout the game. 

Two opportunities came for the Tar Heels after a penalty was called on the Cardinals within feet of the 18-yard box. The penalty kick was taken by Huerman and almost resulted in an assist for the senior. He lofted the ball towards the far post, directly into the feet of senior defender Riley Thomas. Thomas’ original shot was blocked, causing a frantic Louisville defense as the ball bobbled around the box, before it was ultimately saved by Cardinal goalie Alex Svetanoff. 

“One of the mental challenges was that we had a significant amount of chances to get a second goal,” Somoano said. 

He said he thinks that when players start to believe they blew too many chances, they can start to question your game, and that’s when they mess up. 

After a 10 minute push from the Cardinals at the beginning of the second half, it was clear that Louisville's offense was fired up. The team recorded three shots in the second half, before North Carolina could get one off. 

“We knew they were gonna come out there,” said Zinnhardt. “We were up 1-0, time was running out for them, they sent everything forward.”

Ultimately, the end of game push by Louisville wasn’t enough to rattle the North Carolina team, and Tar Heel junior midfielder Andrew Czech put the nail in the coffin by rattling off a second Tar Heel goal in the last four minutes of the game. 

With the chance to finish with an even conference record, The Tar Heels will play their last regular season game on the road against Virginia, Friday at 7:30 p.m.


@dthsports |

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.