Nov. 25, 2012
TULSA, Okla. - It was a tale of two halves as the University of San Diego men's soccer team battled back for a third-straight come-from behind victory over a Top-25 opponent to advance to the Elite Eight with a 2-1 win over No. 11 Tulsa at Hurricane Stadium on Sunday evening. Sophomore midfielder Connor Brandt notched the game-winner to lead the Toreros (14-8-0) to their first Elite Eight appearance since 1992, while senior midfielder Conor McFadden scored his first goal of the season to tie it.
"It was a hard-fought victory," said USD head coach Seamus McFadden. "They're a very good team. I was very impressed with them, particularly in the first half. We came out flat, and we were just not our usual selves. But credit to them. Their forward, that Mata kid, is as good a forward as I've seen in the country."
"It was kind of unfortunate to go down 1-nil," said Brandt after the win. "But in the first round, we went down to (Cal State) Northridge 1-nil. We're used to being there. Same with (the) UCLA (match), we went down 1-nil, and we came back and got the victory. So that's three games in a row we've been down and found a way to get the `W'."
In front of a loud standing-room only crowd of 1,022, McFadden scored to tie the game in the 62nd minute and less than five minutes later Brandt knocked in the go-ahead score.
USD was outgunned in the first half as Tulsa (14-6-1) outshot the Toreros 11-3 in the first period while taking an early 1-0 victory. Tulsa, the No. 11 seed in the tournament, kept the pressure on the Toreros for the majority of the first half with a speedy offense that was able to slip past and between the USD defense seemingly at will.
Cristian Mata gave the Golden Hurricane their first goal of the game when he broke away with the help of a long pass from Omar Mata, beating USD keeper Drew Ilijevski on a one-on-one. Mata appeared to be offside before the goal, causing the USD bench to protest, but to no avail.
The Toreros started to pick up the offensive momentum as the first half wore on. Julian Ringhof just missed tying the game when his line drive header off a corner kick sailed just wide right at the 25:00 mark.
When USD would get the ball on Tulsa's side of the pitch in the first half, the Golden Hurricane consistently clogged the middle, forcing the Toreros to work the ball around the edges of the box. One of their rare opportunities inside came when McFadden took a pass from Elijah Galbraith-Knapp from about 10 yards straight out at the 6:30 mark but was immediately swarmed by Tulsa defenders and was unable to get off a clean shot.
In the waning minutes of the first half, Ilijevski prevented another Tulsa goal when he leapt to punch a shot away from Bryce Follensbee on a one-on-one with just over a minute remaining in the period.
Whatever second-half adjustments USD made, they seemed to do the trick as the Toreros came out with all the offensive momentum after the intermission. Brandt had a pair of good looks in the early minutes of the second half but just missed.
In the 62nd minute, McFadden dribbled around the far right wing along the end line and attempted a shot with a man guarding him that dribbled slowly along the goal line where it barely broke the plane for the score.
Then, in the 67th minute, Patrick Wallen made an overhead, behind-the-back pass that found Brandt one-on-one with Tulsa keeper Mark Pais. Brandt lofted a shot over Pais that bounced into the empty net for the game-winner, giving Brandt his third goal in three NCAA Tournament contests.
The Toreros matched the Golden Hurricane with eight shots apiece in the second half, with most of Tulsa's shots coming in a flurry in the final minutes.
Ilijevski turned in a number of great saves to help preserve the win for USD. In the 60th minute, with USD trailing 1-0, Ilijevski deflected a shot at close range that looked like it was going to be put back in for a goal by Mata before Ilijevski pounced on it to end the threat. Finally, as Tulsa was desperately trying to tie the game with an aggressive offensive push over the final three minutes, the Golden Hurricane hustled for a last-minute corner kick with everyone in the box. Ilijevski stonewalled the Tulsa shot attempt to seal the victory as time expired.
This was the first-ever meeting between USD and Tulsa.
The Toreros have now won all three tournament games by coming from behind against ranked opponents.
USD looks to continue their run on the road at No. 3 seed Georgetown in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 10:00 am PT.
USD travels to No. 9 UCLA Friday
Toreros Host Kentucky Saturday
USD looks to defend home court against No. 22 Kentucky
Toreros Host Pepperdine & LMU
USD returns home after four-game road trip
Toreros Team Up with PYBL
Men's Basketball hosts annual clinic for Challenged Division
Men's Tennis 2016
USD opens at home vs UC Irvine and UCSD Saturday
Preview of USD women's basketball WCC opener vs. BYU.
City Championship Highlights
Relive the Toreros' Upset over SDSU at Petco Park
Toreros to Host Hope International
The 9-1 Toreros will host Hope International in their final game before WCC play
Toreros Stun Aztecs at Petco
Postgame reaction and press conferences
Toreros Return Home
USD will host Bethesda before Sunday's City Championship at Petco Park
Men's Basketball Season Tickets
Starting as Low as $99
Pono Keni and Coach Lindsey talk about Saturday's Senior Day game against Butler
Coach Fisher and forward Maya Hood talk about Tuesday's home-opener against CSUN
Coach Smith and Brett Bailey preview the season opener at USC
Jonah Hodges and Dale Lindsey talk about Jonah's return and preview Davidson game
San Diego Fall Classic Preview
Coach Dagman previews the San Diego Fall Classic
USD's Women's Basketball team will start their season at Nevada this weekend
USD Men's Basketball - The Origins (1955-1973)
A Glance at the Beginnings of Torero Hoops
Coach Lindsey and Jeff Starr preview Campbell
Coach Lindsey and Jereke Armstrong talk about the season so far
WCC Media Day
Behind the scenes with Men's and Women's Basketball at WCC media day
Dale Lindsey and Anthony Lawrence on USD's 45-14 win
Anthony Lawrence and Coach Lindsey preview game vs. Warner
Torero Community Service
USD Athletics helps out at Father Joe's Village in downtown San Diego
Men's Basketball Camp Update
Kok and Carter talk about the upcoming season
Toreros host Bulldogs for Homecoming game
Toreros look for 4th straight win
Pack the Stadium Night
ITA All-American's Preview
Petronijevic, Angus, & Vittek Prepare
USD Looks to Extend Home Win Streak
Toreros First True Road Game of 2015
CSUN and UCSB Preview
Toreros Look to Extend Win Streak
Aztec Invite Recap
Both Squads Finish Second
Toreros Take on Cross-town Rival
Highlights from 45-21 win
2015 Home Opener
Previewing Western New Mexico
Volleyball Tournament Preview
A preview of the USD Tournament
Men's Soccer Season Opener
Previewing No. 16 Cal
Training Camp Update
Coach Lindsey Recaps the First Two Weeks
2015 WSOC Preview
A brief preview of the 2015 Toreros.