Tulsa Posts Come-Back Win for C-USA Championship Title
Nov. 18, 2007
Birmingham, Ala. - Seniors Eric Burkholder, Todd Goddard, Brian McCurdy and Dominic Cervi, as well as a strong supporting cast, earned The University of Tulsa men's soccer team a 3-2 victory over FIU and the Conference USA Championship title on Sunday afternoon at West Campus Field in Birmingham, Alabama.
Burkholder punched in two goals and Goddard knocked in a goal in the contest to give TU's its first tournament title since the Golden Hurricane won the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in 1991, as well as the first NCAA tournament bid since 2004.
"FIU played very well, but we found a way to win," Head Coach Tom McIntosh said. "They made it very difficult for us to score. They kept four guys back at all times and clogged up the middle, and fortunately we were able to score from the wings."
Burkholder put TU on the board in the 30th minute with his third goal of the season, but Bruno Barbosa countered with a goal for the Golden Panthers just nine minutes later to send the game into the break with a 1-1 tie. FIU came out of the locker room fired up, as Juan Guerra knocked in a goal at the 59:12 mark.
With a little under 10 minutes to play, Goddard picked up a pass from freshman Chris Taylor and punched in his 10th goal of the year to tie the game, 2-2. Goddard, who had missed the first two games of the C-USA tournament, played with a heavy heart after learning of his mother's death this morning. Carol Goddard passed away after a long struggle with cancer.
"We knew Todd needed to take some time for his family, but when I talked with him on Friday night it was clear that he wanted to come back for the championship game," McIntosh said. "It was what his mom wanted, what his family wanted and what he wanted."
With only five minutes remaining in regulation, the contest looked to be heading into overtime, but Burkholder struck again off a pass from McCurdy in the 86th minute for the game-winning goal.
Cervi picked up two saves in the game for 77 on the season and 203 in his career, while Kyle Thomas earned three saves for the Golden Panthers. Tulsa out-shot FIU, 21-11, including a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal.
TU entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed after winning the C-USA regular season title and currently boasts a 15-2-2 overall mark, while FIU, seeded seventh, finished with a 5-14-2 record.
The NCAA will announce the tournament field, as well as regional sites and bracket tomorrow evening.
Scoring Summary Tulsa 1 2 - 3 FIU 1 1 - 2
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