Tulsa hands slumping Golden Panthers tough road loss

Photo by Jonathan Segal

Photo by Jonathan Segal

By: Brandon Wise / Staff Writer

Having dropped two of their last three matches, the Golden Panthers had a chance to pick up a much-needed win on the road against the Tulsa Hurricane.

However, forward Corey Albertson did not allow that to happen, as the Hurricane pounded the Golden Panthers 4-1. Head coach Munga Eketebi was disappointed in his team’s performance.

“It is tough to lose,” Eketebi said. “Especially coming off a great performance against UCF, who was number six in the country. I did not see the intensity and focus coming into this game that I saw in games prior.”

The Hurricane jumped out to a three-nil advantage in the first 37 minutes and managed to hold on for the rest of the match.

In the 19th minute, forward Stephen Roberson took a shot for the top of the box and buried it in the top right corner of the net to give the Hurricane a 1-0 lead.

Albertson then picked up the next two goals for the Hurricane in the first half. His first came in the 30th minute when Tony Rocha and Blaine Gonsalves joined Albertson inside the penalty area, passing it back and forth amongst each other.

Eventually, Albertson got it past goalkeeper Rodney Greiling, making it 2-0.

Just seven minutes later, the same kind of situation arose for the Hurricane. Albertson and Rocha passed the ball back and forth and then beat Greiling for the score. Eketebi believed the midfield was the problem.

“It was mostly the midfield that did not play up to the level of expectation in the outing,” Eketebi said.

In the first half, the Hurricane took 16 shots on goal, while the Golden Panthers could only manage five.

The second half saw the Golden Panthers pick up a favorable situation as Hurricane defender Jake Dobkins was red carded in the 55th minute.

Down a man with 35 minutes left to play, the Hurricane was still able to hold on.

The lone highight for the Golden Panthers was when Andri Alexandersson put one in the back of the net off an assist from Junior Sebastian Frings.

But the Hurricane bounced right back when Leonard Smith received a pass from Omar Mata and put his shot in to make it 4-1 in the 87th minute.

The loss drops the Golden Panthers to 4-7-3 and 1-4-1 in Conference USA play. They are now seventh in the standings, eight points behind conference leader, South Carolina, who comes to town on Oct. 22.

Eketebi knows what the team has to do.

“It is a must win,” Eketebi said. “If the team can play well against teams that are ranked sixth and eleventh, there is no reason why they can’t play with the rest of them.”

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