Nov. 29, 2009

Tulsa, Oklahoma ­- Tulsa advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Soccer Championships with a 1-0 win over Northwestern on a wet Sunday afternoon at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium. The victory moves Tulsa into the quarterfinals, tying the farthest that the Hurricane has advanced in the NCAA Tournament since a quarterfinal appearance in 2004.

"Our second team guys prepared us very well for today's game," Head Coach Tom McIntosh said. "They really gave us a lot of problems in training, which helped a lot in our preparation. I thought we had a lot of improvement from last week's game. Our backline did a good job and we were much tighter. We connected better offensively and caused a lot of problems wide. We created chances and had better individual performances than a week ago."

Sophomore Austin Neil scored in the 74th minute of the rain-soaked contest. Neil back-footed in the goal that ricocheted off the post at the 73:25 mark on an assist from junior Ashley McInnes.

The goal was Neil's team-leading 14th of the season, while McInnes had his team-high eighth assist.

In the scoreless first half, Tulsa had eight first-half shots but just one shot on goal, while three of Northwestern's five shots were on goal against Tulsa goalkeeper Andy Aguilar.

In the second half, the Hurricane kept the pressure on Northwestern goalkeeper Misha Rosenthal, maintaining possession for the greater part of the half with five shots on goal and 12 total shots. Tulsa kept the pressure on Rosenthal after the McInnes' goal with six more shots in the final 16 minutes.

Tulsa improved to 15-4-2, while No. 5-ranked (by Top Drawer Soccer) Northwestern ended the season with an 11-5-4 record.

The Hurricane will play No. 1-ranked Akron next Saturday in Akron, Ohio at 3 pm (CT). The Zips, ranked No. 1 nationally for the entire season, defeated Tulsa earlier this year at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium with a 1-0 victory.

"Akron is one of the best teams in college soccer that I've seen in my 15 years of coaching. They are very good in possession, they don't give away many opportunities and they are very athletic. The good thing is that we are familiar with them. I think we really made improvements in that game and since, but we will have to continue to improve before next week's game. I am looking forward to it. We are going to compete and we are not going to back down."

Scoring Summary Tulsa 0 1 - 1 Northwestern 0 0 - 0

Individual Scoring

Austin Neil (Tulsa) at 73:25 (Ashley McInnes)

Goalkeeper Saves

Andy Aguilar (Tulsa) - 4

Tulsa Team - 1

Misha Rosenthal (Northwestern) - 5