Reid Cytron is back with another update on TU soccer!
Friday night was the home opener for TU men’s soccer against Wisconsin. The match ended 2-2 and, although the score indicates an even match, it was an unfortunate result for us. Tulsa led in both shooting and shots-on-goal 21-12 and 12-4, respectively. 21 shots provides a lot of action for any keeper, and the Wisconsin goalie, Philipp Schilling, finished the game with a career-high 10 saves. He kept his team in the game and was one of the main story lines of the match.
Prior to the match, a tie may have seemed like a good result for TU. Wisconsin is a quality side that has many returning starters including one special player, Christopher Mueller, who made the All-Regional team. Chris is currently on the Hermann Trophy watch list, an award for the most outstanding individual player in NCAA Division I soccer. Wisconsin is also ranked 25 and nearly knocked off Creighton (ranked 14) in an exhibition match earlier this season. This game had the potential to be a season defining match for the Hurricane.
However, Wisconsin showed up unprepared to handle the Hurricane. Tulsa played aggressively from the first whistle. Junior Miguel Velasquez (9) scored on a penalty kick 20 minutes into the match, making the score 1-0 in favor of Tulsa. The first half concluded 1-1. Another penalty kick was awarded to Tulsa shortly into the second half. Unfortunately, we were unable to capitalize on the opportunity. Later, though, Rollie Rocha (15) found the net late in the second half. But the lead was short-lived as Wisconsin answered back with the final goal of the game to even the score at 2-2. The match finished in double overtime with what turned out to be a disappointing finish for the Hurricane considering that they easily could have finished off a ranked opponent. Wisconsin seemed to be hanging on for their lives towards the end of the match.
Freshman goalkeeper Cooper Clark (00) played the entire match. This was interesting because Matt Karasinski (0) played all 90 minutes against ORU last weekend. I know that Tulsa also has a junior goalkeeper who has not yet logged time this season. I imagine that we will be seeing a lot more of Clark this season. Some of his quick reaction saves kept us in the game against Wisconsin.
Tulsa will be on the road for the next three games. They will finish their week with a game against Stanford. The Cardinal are back-to-back National Champions and, after bringing in the #1 ranked recruiting class, are currently number one in the pre-season rankings. Our next home game is against Brown University on September 15th. This is the first time in my four years at TU that we will have the opportunity to best an Ivy League team. I hope you can come cheer on the boys as they take on the Brown Bears two weeks from Friday.