The Tulsa men's soccer team claimed the Conference USA Championship with a 5-0 win over SMU on Sunday afternoon at Regions Park in Birmingham, Ala. Tulsa moved to 13-5-1 on the season, while SMU fell to 10-5-4 overall.
TU earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but will have to wait to learn its seed and opponent when the NCAA announces the bracket at 4:30 Central on Monday, November 12.
With today's five goals, the Hurricane set a C-USA Championship record for the most goals scored in a league title game. The previous record was four by UAB in 1999 and USF in 1998.
Abe Matamoros headed in his second goal of the season off a cross from Cristian Mata to put Tulsa on the board at the 20:00 mark, and Akeil Barrett headed in a goal in the 27th minute off a cross from Matt Boullt for his sixth goal on the year.
In the 45th minute, Barrett stole the ball in the middle third, dribbled down the field and fed the ball to Cristian from one yard out to give TU a 3-0 lead at the break. Cristian now has a team-leading 13 goals on the year.
Barrett scored again in the 64th minute as he picked up a pass from Cristian from three yards out and tapped the ball into an open net. Bryce Follensbee came into the game and recorded his ninth goal this season from 12 yards out into the lower left corner off a cross from Boullt at the 69:00 mark.
TU had a 17-13 lead in shots, including a 7-3 advantage in shots on goal, while SMU had a 9-2 lead in corner kicks.
Barrett finished with two goals and an assist, while Cristian had one goal and two assists and Boullt had two assists. Barrett and Follensbee both had a team-best four shots, Matamoros had three attempts, and Kyle Cumings and Cristian each had two shots. Mark Pais logged all 90 minutes in goal, recorded three saves and earned his seventh shutout on the year with the help of defenders Matt Boullt, Bradley Bourgeois, Jake Dobkins, Wayne Farmer, Tony Rocha, Quinn Starker and Alexander Zuerlein.
For their efforts, Pais, Dobkins, Rocha and Barrett were all named to the C-USA All-Tournament team.