The 13th-ranked Tulsa men's soccer team earned a No. 11 seed and a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament, and will face South Florida on Sunday, beginning at 5 p.m. Central at the Corbett Soccer Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
The Golden Hurricane (13-5-1) is on a three-game winning streak, and has only lost one game in the last eight dating back to Oct. 8th, while South Florida has only won two of its last eight games. USF tied Florida Gulf Coast (0-0) and advanced to the second round on penalty kicks (5-3). TU and then fourth-ranked USF faced off on Sept. 2nd in Tulsa, and the Bulls earned a 2-1 win. USF has a 2-0-1 advantage in all-time series with TU.
The Golden Hurricane will make its eighth appearance in the NCAA Championship this week after earning Conference USA's automatic bid with a 5-0 win over SMU in the C-USA Championship. TU's NCAA appearances have come in 1991, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Tulsa has a 7-7-1 mark in tournament play.
TU ranks fifth in scoring offense (2.42 gpg), sixth in total goals (46), eighth in total points (129), 17th in total assists (37) and 24th in won-lost-tied percentage (.711) among the nation's best. Cristian Mata has a team-best 13 goals, six assists and 32 points, while Bryce Follensbee has scored nine goals and Akeil Barrett has seven. Mark Pais has logged all 1,743 minutes between the posts, picked up 70 saves and has seven shutouts on the year.
USF is led by Roberto Alterio with five goals, and Lucas Baldin and Leston Paul each have tallied three goals on the year. Eric Osswald has played the majority of minutes in goal, earned 31 saves and has four shutouts this season.