SLU vs. Tulsa: Thoughts and Start Time


At the beginning of the season, Coach Mike McGinty called the 2014 Billikens a team that “will put SLU back in the national spotlight for soccer.” 3 months later, he seems to have proven himself right. After losing a heartbreaking match to underdog and eventual A-10 champions Fordham in the A-10 semi-finals, the Bills still managed to nab a spot in the NCAA tournament field of 48.

The first round matchup comes against a familiar foe: Tulsa, whom the Bills opened up the season against on August 29th. Flashing back to that game, SLU won 1-0 at Hermann Stadium off of a late goal from Filip Pavisic in the 86th minute. It’s hard to say that the Bills are a much different team from then. Despite the big victories against Creighton and Louisville, SLU struggled on the road (2-3-2). Luckily, though, this one will be played on their own turf.

On the other hand, Tulsa is not the same team that Coach McGinty’s squad saw earlier in the year. Much like SLU, they fumbled a bit during the middle of the season, going 1-3-1 over a 5 game stretch. However, they clearly have the momentum advantage.  Over the last 7 games, they’ve won 5 of them, tied 2, and lost 0. Within those 7 games include an upset of #24 Temple, a double OT win a Temple, a double OT tie against UCF, and a win in penalty kicks over USF to win the American Athletic Conference Championship. Quite a run.

Matchup-wise, SLU should have the advantage in every department. There’s not a clear-cut goal scorer for Tulsa, which bodes well for SLU’s defense. Although the Hurricanes have 12 players that scored this year, only 2 players have more than 5 goals, and only 2 players make over 20% of their shots. A defense managed by A-10 defensive player of the year Anthony Manning and stand-out freshman goalie Sascha “Brickenmauer” Otte are set up well to shutout the Hurricanes.

Offensively, Robert Kristo could have some trouble against All-AAC defenseman Bradley Bourgeois. Still, Kristo’s great season won’t likely be stifled by Bourgeois. Kristo is currently 4th in the NCAA in goals per game with 0.72, and overall goals with 13 on the season. The A-10 offensive player of the year also sent 62 shots towards the goal, 22 more than anyone of SLU or Tulsa. Lots of opportunities should surface, so expect a huge game from Robert.

Start Time: 7:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Location: Hermann Stadium, SLU