Coming into Sunday’s NCAA tournament second-round matchup against Memphis, graduate midfielder Quenzi Huerman had a simple message for graduate forward Martin Vician — he wanted them to become the first duo at UNC to both have double digit goals since 2005.
Huerman was a man of his word, assisting on both of Vician's goals in a 2-0 victory over the Tigers. The combination of Huerman’s left foot and Vician’s head put the Harvard transfer one goal shy of double digits on the year, a feat that Huerman already accomplished earlier in the season. The duo has brought a spark to the UNC offense in their first season with the team, combining for 59 percent of the team’s goals.
The first score came in the eighth minute off a corner kick. UNC sophomore midfielder Sam Williams dropped the ball off short to Huerman who sent the ball into the box. Vician, boxing out his defender with his 6-foot-4 frame, flicked the ball off the back of his head into the bottom left corner of the net.
Huerman and Vician said the goal was exactly how they drew it up off the set piece.
“It was perfect,” Huerman said.
In the 49th minute, Huerman’s left foot found a Vician header once again to extend the lead to two. Dribbling up off the counter-attack, Huerman created space to his left and delivered the ball into the box. Despite Huerman saying it was one of the worst crosses he’s given him all year, Vician capitalized off a defensive miscommunication and calmly headed the ball into the back of the net.
The two-goal game marks Vician’s third brace of the season, and it is the second time that Huerman assisted on both goals. Vician said the chemistry between the two has developed naturally over the season.
“I’m really glad that it’s been working,” Vician said. “I feel really good on the field, not just with Quenzi, but with every other teammate.”
Huerman said playing with Vician frees him up offensively. While he is the team’s leading goal-scorer, he also described himself as a “playmaker.” His two assists on Sunday extended his team lead to six.