The nation's fifth-ranked Tulsa men's soccer team celebrated its American Athletic Conference Championship with a 2-1 win over the UCF Knights Friday night at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium. The Golden Hurricane improved to 13-1-1 on the season and concluded the conference slate with an 8-1-1 AAC mark, while the Knights fell to 8-7 overall and 6-4 in the league.
Tulsa clinched the AAC regular season crown with a Sunday win at Temple, but put the icing on the cake tonight with its victory over the Knights.
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Hurricane scored two goals in a four-minute span in the final 45 minutes. The first came in the 57th minute when Til Zinnhardt headed in the ball from a yard out on a free kick from Tom Protzek. With 59:55 on the game clock, Henry Sach scored his second penalty kick of the year and Tulsa's seventh overall to give Tulsa a 2-1 lead.
Watch the penalty kick below:
"I thought we were really dominant in possession in the first half. We made a bad mistake on a giveaway and they countered very well. We didn't create as many chances as we'd like in the first half, but still thought we were dominant," said Head Coach Tom McIntosh. "Then in the second half we had a little more urgency and our movement was a little better up front. I thought our guys did an excellent job."
The AAC title is the first regular season American championship for the Hurricane and the fifth overall team title in school history. "It's really hard to win regular season titles. I'm really proud of the guys and our coaching staff. I'm fortunate to have the staff I have and this group of players. This group has set a standard and mentality for many others to live up to. I'm super proud of them."
BEST GOALS: See the top goals this season so far
The Knights took the early 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when Lucca Dourado scored from 16 yards out from right to left off a pass from Nick Taylor.
Prior to the game Tulsa honored seniors Brady Moody, Rooks Hunter, Ben Barkley, Mitchell Cashion and Austen Schweinert.
Tulsa will host The American Championship next week at the Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium. The Hurricane will play No. 4-seed SMU in semifinal action at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, while No. 2-seed UCF plays No. 3-seed Memphis in the first semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. The Championship game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. All three tournament games can be seen on ESPN+.