The Golden Hurricane men’s soccer team put on a dominating performance against the Memphis Tigers on Saturday, clinching the right to host the quarterfinal round of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
Early on, Tiger Carlos Hurtado was shown a red card, ejecting him from the game. For the last 70 minutes of the game, the Golden Hurricane would play with a man advantage.
They put the man-advantage to good use, as senior Dillon Alexander first put Tulsa on the scoreboard, netting a long-distance strike at the 30 minute mark. The goal was the first of Alexander’s collegiate career.
After halftime, Juan Sanchez got in on the scoring, after a well-placed cross from Lesley Nchanji, giving the Golden Hurricane a 2–0 lead. Michael Mitrik closed out the scoring when he added a tally in the 75th minute off of a cross from Zach Jackson, giving Tulsa a 3–0 victory.
From the start, the game was not closely contested. Tulsa resoundingly outshot Memphis, 16–4. Goalkeeper Jake McGuire only needed two saves to record the shutout.
Coach Tom McIntosh was pleased with how the Golden Hurricane played, saying, “We showed a good combination of patience and urgency, which is hard to do when you play up a man. Our guys showed good composure.”
With the win, Tulsa finished up the regular season with a 7–6–3 (3–3–2 American Athletic Conference) record. Their conference record earned them fourth place in the conference heading into the conference tournament.
In the tournament, the top eight teams play. The lower seed earned the right to be the home team in the quarterfinal round, before the tournament moves to Tampa for the semifinals and final. As the fourth seed, Tulsa clinched a home game in the first round.
They will play against UCF at 6 pm on Saturday. When the two teams met in the regular season, Nchanji netted the only goal to give Tulsa the win in a tightly contested game. That game, however, was an away game for the Golden Hurricane, played at UCF.