SLU vs. Tulsa: Where/What to Watch


We think 9 freshmen on a team will be troublesome. Imagine having 15!

That’s what Head Coach Tom McIntosh brought in this season to Tulsa, Oklahoma to try and alleviate the pain of losing  3 of his team’s top 5 scorers from a year ago.

However, don’t count it as a walkover. Returning junior midfielders Ray Saari and Cameron Drackett bring scoring and steadiness from the midfield, while junior goalie Jake McGuire holds together the defense. Up front, to replace leading scorer Akeil Barrett, Hurricanes add three red shirt freshmen itching to play in their first games. Khalil

Kirksey, Jacob

Gooden, and Tony

Doellefeld all practiced with the team of 2014, but couldn’t appear in a game due to red shirt restrictions.

A year ago, Tulsa every bit played to the level of the opponent against them. While undefeated against top 5 teams, they also had a loss at home to Cal State Northridge. Most notable were 2 wins against then #3 Virginia, in double OT, and the following #3, SMU, both at home. Overall, the Hurricanes lost only 1 game at home a year ago, going 6-1-2, an impressive feat to say the least.

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That spells trouble for the Billikens, who struggled hard on the road in 2014, winning only 2 of 8 games on enemy turf. And that was with a veteran roster. A tough road loss last Monday against Notre Dame was a rude awakening for this young team, but a meaningless exhibition at the end of the day. With this one counting, how can SLU respond the unfamiliar territory, and most importantly, how do they win?

It starts with the back. As Coach Mike McGinty said in an Arch Authority exclusive interview last week, they “expect” Sascha Otte to perform at a high level, rather than just being “hopeful” he will, and it’s almost certain he’ll live up to those expectations. Almost as certain will be the line in front of Brickenmauer, which is bringing back 3 of 4 starters from a year ago. Tulsa’s attackers are fierce, but not elite. Defensively, there can’t be much bend.

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All that pressure on the defense comes from offensive uncertainties. A year ago, Kristo would take over games, and all that was need was to get him the ball near the box. This season’s attack will need to be more orderly and networked, with quick ball movement and exceptional set piece play. David Graydon and Anthony Brown could end up being the winning combo of scorers, both having found the back of the net in preseason. One name that could be not only SLU’s, but all of NCAA’s breakout player of the year is transfer Faik Hajderovic from Evansville, who lead the NCAA in assists in 2013. Hajderovic dished 2 assists and net a goal in 3 exhibition matches, and should be a consistent, go-to for the Billikens.

When: 8 p.m. CST

Where: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Where to watch:

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