The Memphis Men’s Soccer team fell to the 7th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels 2-0 in the second round of the NCAA tournament Sunday afternoon in Chapel Hill.
The Tigers defeated SIUE at home 2-1 to advance to the second round, while North Carolina had a first-round bye.
North Carolina got the scoring started in the 8th minute when Martin Vician got his shot past Memphis goalkeeper Colin Welsh.
The Tiger offense struggled to put together any strong attacks in the opening half, and UNC’s defense looked extremely comfortable.
Memphis’s defense kept the deficit to one goal going into halftime, as neither team saw a great scoring opportunity to close the first half.
The second half followed a similar pattern.
Once again, Martin Vician put the Tar Heels up 2-0, this time in the 49th minute off a Quenzi Huerman assist.
Star forward Lineker Rodriguez dos Santos had a shot in the 54th minute for the Tigers, but his shot went high and wide left.
Colin Welsh saved two North Carolina shots on goal to keep Memphis within striking distance, but the Tigers were unable to score.
North Carolina advances to face the 14-seed Hofstra, while Memphis’s season comes to an end.
Despite the loss, the 2023 Memphis Men’s Soccer team has plenty to be proud of.
The Tigers, led by Richard Mulrooney, made the NCAA tournament 2 seasons in a row for the first time in program history.
This year’s tournament appearance included a home match, which was also a program first.
Lastly, the Memphis win over SIUE was the first NCAA Tournament win for the Men’s Soccer program.
The Tigers finish the season 11-6-2 and will look to continue to build momentum in the 2024 season.