Tulsa Claims Third-Straight Regular Season C-USA Title With 6-2 Win Over UCF
Nov. 7, 2009
Orlando, Florida -
Tulsa's 12th-ranked men's soccer team claimed its third-straight regular season Conference USA Championship with a 6-2 win over UCF on Saturday night at the UCF Soccer Complex in Orlando, Florida. TU concluded the regular season with an 11-4-2 record and a 6-1-1 mark in C-USA, while the Knights fell to 6-7-3 overall and 2-5-1 in the league. The Golden Hurricane has not lost a regular season road game dating back to Oct. 11, 2006, spanning 22 true road contests (excluding neutral site games).
"I think the guys played really disciplined and did a good job mentally with the approach," Head Coach Tom McIntosh said. "We started off a little slow, but after we scored the first goal we settled in and created quite a few chances. It was a great team effort and team accomplishment, and I am very pleased with our performance."
With the win, TU earned the right to host the C-USA Championship, which will feature No. 1 Tulsa, No. 2 Marshall, No. 3 UAB and No. 4 Kentucky, this Friday and Sunday, Nov. 13th and 15th at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium. Marshall and UAB will square off in the first semifinal game, which will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, while TU and Kentucky will take to the field at 7:30 p.m. The championship game between the winners of both semifinal games will be aired live on CBS College Sports Network at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for youth (12 and under) and will go on sale at the TU Ticket Office on Monday morning.
"We are happy to have the opportunity to play the championship on our own home field," McIntosh said. "We like having the home field advantage, but we know it doesn't guarantee anything. We still have to go out there and perform on the field as a team."
Blaine Gonsalves gave the Golden Hurricane a two-goal cushion in the 34th minute as he slotted in the ball from 18 yards out on a forward pass from McInnes, and McInnes scored his own goal two minutes later on a cross from Corey Albertson and Jose Parada.
Nik Robson prevented the shutout as he gave the Knights a goal in the 42nd minute off a pass from Adam Kraemer, but Tulsa took a 3-1 lead into the break.
Justin Chavez scored quickly in the second half for the Golden Hurricane with his goal in the 55th minute off a rebound shot taken by Joe Salem. Nearly 30 minutes ticked off the clock before Neil notched his second goal of the contest off an assist from Parada and Albertson.
Thomas Story tallied the sixth and final goal for TU in the 88th minute with Hunter Christiansen and Albertson each picking up an assist, and then Robson registered his second goal in the 89th minute for the final 6-2 score.
Neil had a team-best three shots, two of which were on goal, and two goals, while McInnes, Parada and Albertson each attempted two shots. Andy Aguilar logged 81:49 in goal and picked up seven saves, while Mason Gist entered the contest for the final 8:11.
UCF out-shot TU, 19-16, while both teams had 10 shots on goal. The Golden Hurricane, however, had an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Scoring Summary Tulsa 3 3 - 6 UCF 1 1 - 2
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