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No. 14 Tulsa Men's Soccer Team to Open 2005 Campaign against Oral Roberts this Thursday

Senior Kyle Brown will look to lead the 14th-ranked Golden Hurricane men's soccer team to a victory over Oral Roberts in Thursday's season opener.
Senior Kyle Brown will look to lead the 14th-ranked Golden Hurricane men's soccer team to a victory over Oral Roberts in Thursday's season opener.
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Aug. 31, 2005

Tulsa, Oklahoma - The 14th-ranked Tulsa men's soccer team begins its 25th season at 6:00 p.m. this Thursday against cross-town rival Oral Roberts in the season opener for both teams at the Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium. Admission for the event is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

Fans with a ticket stub from the TU-ORU contest will receive $2 off any ticket for the Tulsa-Minnesota football game, which begins at 9:15 p.m. that same night.

Tulsa and cross-town rival Oral Roberts first met on the soccer pitch during the Hurricane's inaugural season of men's soccer in 1980. Since that game, which was a 5-3 TU victory, the teams have met 18 times. However, the 2005 season marks the first time Tulsa has played ORU in a season opener. The Hurricane leads the series, 17-1.

Tulsa returns 15 letterwinners, including seven starters, and features an 11-member newcomer class for the 2005 campaign. The Golden Hurricane, which turned in a 12-7-4 overall record a year ago, received a preseason national ranking by three different publications after advancing to last season's NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and concluding the year with a school-best No. 8 national ranking.

Tulsa's scoring attack features senior Kyle Brown and sophomores Todd Goddard and Eric Burkholder. Brown, who missed last season with an injury, is a three-time all-conference first team performer and two-time all-Midwest Region selection. During his junior season, he ranked 16th nationally in scoring and assists with 12 goals and 11 assists for 35 points. Goddard was second on the team in scoring as a freshman with nine goals and three assists for 21 points, while Burkholder has been TU's only consistent scorer in its two preseason games.

Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Dominic Cervi returns to his spot in the starting line-up. Last season, Cervi was 5-3-2 as a starter and played an integral part in TU's NCAA Tournament quarterfinal run by notching a 2-1-1 postseason record, which included a win over No. 2 SMU and he turned back No. 12 Penn State by stopping two penalty kicks. Cervi registered a 1.47 goals-against-average and notched 45 saves.

Oral Roberts produced an 11-5-1 overall mark a year ago and will counter with senior midfielder Dave Leung, who was named to the Mid-Conference Offensive Player of the Year after leading the Golden Eagles in scoring last season with 11 goals and two assists for 24 points.

Thursday night's game also marks the inaugural contest for the TU men's soccer team as a member of Conference USA. Tulsa begins its first season as a member of Conference USA in 2005. Previously, the Golden Hurricane has been a member of just two conferences during its 25-year history. TU was a member of the Missouri Valley Conference from 1991-95 and 2000-2004, and was a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 1996-99. Over the past 14 years, Tulsa has made 10 conference tournament appearances and captured its only conference tournament title in the MVC in 1991.