San Diego overtakes Tulsa in NCAA soccer tournament
BY JOHN D. FERGUSON World Correspondent
Monday, November 26, 2012
11/26/12 at 5:30 AM
Conor McFadden and Connor Brandt scored goals within a five-minute span in the second half to rally the University of San Diego to a 2-1 victory over the University of Tulsa in the NCAA men's soccer championship round of 16 on Sunday night.
A crowd of 1,022 at Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium watched the Golden Hurricane end the season at 14-6-1. The Toreros (14-8) advance to the Elite 8 bracket and will travel east to play Georgetown at a date and time to be determined.
It was a game of two distinct halves. TU dominated the first 45 minutes and had chances to go up 2-0 or even 3-0 with the right breaks. Instead, Cristian Mata staked the Hurricane to a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the competition off a pass from his brother, Omar.
San Diego was the stronger team in the second half.
McFadden tied the game at the 62-minute mark of the second half. He scored an unassisted goal into the left corner of the net amid a crowd of players.
Almost five minutes later, Brandt took a Patrick Wallen pass and kicked it over goal keeper Mark Pais' head from 25 yards out into an open net for the 2-1 lead.
TU made a furious rally in the last 10 minutes to attempt a tie. The Hurricane kicked shot after shot that was kicked or headed away by Torero defenders. Overall, goal keeper Drew Ilijevski had four saves off 19 TU shots.
"It was kind of unfortunate to go down 1-nil," Brandt said of the first half deficit. "But in the first round, we were down to (Cal) Northridge ... and the same with UCLA (in the second round and still won). We're used to being there."
Of the winning goal, Brandt was in the perfect position only if his teammates saw him.
"I just saw the ball go over the top and I yelled to Patrick Wallen, I don't even think he saw me," Brandt said. "He flicked it over and I got it over the goal keeper and into the net."
It was a tough loss for TU, but a big turnaround from last year.
"We were 5-12 a year ago," Hurricane coach Tom McIntosh said. "It (this season) speaks volumes for the guys. I thought we started well and created a lot of good chances. We should have been up two or three goals (by halftime)."
The second half was all San Diego.
"We came out a little flat in the second half," McIntosh added. "We picked it up at the end and had chances in the last 10 minutes."
San Diego coach Seamus McFadden had nothing, but praise for both teams.
"They're a very good team. I was very impressed with them," McFadden said of TU. "Their forward, that (Cristian) Mata kid, is as good a forward as I've seen in the country."
TU's Mata brothers were a good combination in the first 12 minutes of the match.
"Omar played a perfect ball (to me) and I just finished it," Cristian said of his goal.
"I just flipped it over the top and he got through and scored," Omar added. "They (San Diego) did a great job, especially in the second half. They made it even tougher for us."
Of the season, Omar looked forward.
"We didn't reach our goal, but we'll be back stronger next year," he said.
San DieGo 2, Tulsa 1
Individual scoring: Cristian Mata (Tulsa) at 12:12 (Omar Mata); Conor McFadden (USD) at 62:46; Connor Brandt (USD) at 67:05 (Patrick Wallen).
Goalkeeper saves: Mark Pais (Tulsa) 2; Drew Ilijevski (USD) 4.
Original Print Headline: San Diego overtakes TU in second half
TU's Cristian Mata tries to keep the ball from San Diego's Thomas Fiskerstrand during Sunday's NCAA Tournament game at TU. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Bradley Bourgeois and members of the TU soccer team are dejected after the Hurricane fell to San Diego on Sunday. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World