Akeil Barrett scored his first career hat trick as he led 23rd-ranked Tulsa to a 7-5 win over Oakland on Sunday afternoon at the SMU Classic in Dallas, Texas. TU moved to 4-3 on the season, while Oakland fell to 3-3 overall.
"We started out playing well and carried much of the play, but they caught us on two counter-attack goals to take a 2-0 lead," Head Coach Tom McIntosh said. "We gave away a couple of bad goals, and then their third goal was scored when the officials called a hand ball in the box for a PK. We were playing well, but we were down 3-1."
"We kept playing and kept pushing, but it was just a wild game. We were good on the break. We were better wide than we've been all season, so that was a real positive for us, but obviously I am disappointed with giving up so many goals. We went into the weekend with a .800 goals-against average and we gave up five today. We just have to get better in our counter-attack."
Barrett led the Hurricane attack with seven shots, six of which were on goal, while Omar Mata and Cristian Mata each had three attempts, and Bryce Follensbee had two shots. Mark Pais logged all 90 minutes in goal and had one save.
Tulsa finished with an 18-13 lead in shots, including an 11-6 advantage in shots on goal, while both teams had four corner kicks.
Raphael Reynolds put the Grizzlies on the board as he shot from the inside post to the far corner and scored from eight yards out at the 23:48 mark. Kyle Bethel then gave OU a two-goal cushion after scoring from 14 yards out in the 28th minute.
Omar pulled TU to within one off a free kick from 24 yards out at the 32:22 mark, but Lucas Diener punched in a penalty kick six minutes later to take back the two-goal lead for Oakland. Tarik Salkicic headed in a cross by Stephen Roberson and the Golden Hurricane went into the break down 3-2.
Barrett came out and scored three quick goals in the second half at the 51st, 53rd and 56th minutes, spanning just 4:58 off the clock. Kyle Cumings played Barrett the ball to the far lower corner for his first goal, while his second was scored as he beat the defender and fired the ball off the far post and in, and his third was headed in off a cross from Roberson to give Tulsa a 5-3 lead.
This was the 14th hat trick for Tulsa in school history. Austin Neil tallied the last hat trick against Seattle on Sept. 4, 2010.
Cristian headed in a goal at the 61st minute as Roberson once again picked up the assist, but less than four minutes later the Grizzlies Shawn Claud Lawson punched in a goal to make the score 6-4.
Follensbee tallied the last goal for TU as he punched in a rebound attempt that was a combination from Roberson and Barrett, but Cody Archibald recorded the final goal of the contest in the 83rd minute to make the final score 7-5.
Tulsa will return to action on Friday, Sept. 21st against C-USA foe South Carolina. Game time is set for 7:00 pm at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium.