Former Union Standout Leads TU Soccer Into NCAA Sweet 16
Omar Mata scored the game-winning goal in the 99th minute to give 11th-seeded Tulsa a 1-0 overtime win over South Florida in the NCAA Tournament Second Round on Sunday night at the Corbett Soccer Stadium in Tampa, Fla. TU moved to 14-5-1 on the year, while USF fell to 8-6-5 overall to end their season.
"Obviously USF is a tough team and a team that generally doesn't give away a lot of chances, so we knew it was going to be a close game," Head Coach Tom McIntosh said. "I thought we started out a little slow, but we started to control the game in the middle part of the game. We got caught on some counter-attacks and gave up the momentum in the second half, but we held tough. Our subs did a great job, especially in the midfield, and our backline was quite good. We need guys scoring goals and we need our keeper to make saves, and Mark came up with two big saves tonight. I am pleased to get this one under our belt and move on."
Omar's seventh goal of the season and third game-winner came at the 98:46 mark as he drilled in a free kick taken from right outside the box. The goal continued TU's winning streak to make it four-straight victories.
This marks TU's eighth year in the NCAA Championship (1991, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012) and the Hurricane has an 8-7-1 mark in tournament play.
Tulsa will take on the winner of the No. 6 UCLA vs. San Diego game, which will played later tonight in Los Angeles, in the Sweet Sixteen.
South Florida had a 9-8 lead in shots, but TU had a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal and an 11-5 lead in corner kicks.
Individually, Matt Boullt had a team-high two shots, while Tony Rocha, Omar, Stephen Roberson, Akeil Barrett, Bryce Follensbee and Abe Matamoros each had one attempt. Cristian Mata, Tulsa's leading goal scorer, was held without an attempt while playing the full game. Mark Pais picked up two saves and his eighth shutout on the year.
Tulsa 0 0 1 - 1
USF 0 0 0 - 0
Omar Mata (Tulsa) at 98:46 (unassisted)
Mark Pais (Tulsa) - 2
Dallas Jaye (USF) - 3