The USF offense’s ability to come through in clutch situations allowed the Bulls to stay perfect Sunday night in Tulsa, Okla.
Lucas Baldin put away a penalty kick to break a 1-1 tie in the 79th minute of the No. 4 USF men’s soccer team’s 2-1 victory over Tulsa in the Hurricane Classic finale. The Bulls (3-0) ended Tulsa’s two-game winning streak a game after the Golden Hurricane handed No. 3 New Mexico an overtime loss.
“They’re a very tough team to play against. I thought we played very well at times tonight to get the win,” USF head coach George Kiefer said.
USF started the scoring off by making good on a play that almost worked during Friday’s win over No. 20 SMU. Kevin Olali finished off a multiple passing sequence in the box by dishing it out to Roberto Alterio, who scored for the first time this season. Olali was later rewarded when he was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
“Kevin Olali beat a guy in the box and just put it on a platter for Roberto, and Roberto put it home nicely,” Kiefer said. “If he can keep with it, I think he’s on his way to learning how to become a good pro. I’m very pleased for him.”
Tulsa tied things up on a long shot by Abe Matamoros in the 71st minute and USF put on the pressure shortly after to set up the decisive score. Baldin ended up beating the defense on the way to the net, was fouled and put away his first goal of the season on a night the saw the Bulls outshoot Tulsa, 14-9.
“I thought we came out in the second half and moved the ball well,” Kiefer said.
Eric Osswald made four saves in the victory and was named the tournament’s top keeper. Brenton Griffiths and Ashani Fairclough made the all-tournament team.
The Bulls head back home to Corbett Soccer Stadium to host South Carolina on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the USF Tournament.