By Tulsa Athletic
The Tulsa Athletic captured the Heartland Conference championship with a 2-0 victory over Demize NPSL in the conference finals on Saturday, July 13th at Veterans Park.
Tulsa Athletic scored the game-winning goal in the sixth minute and never looked back in the 2-0 conference title win. The green and yellow extended their unbeaten streak to 12-straight contests and won their first postseason conference championship in exactly five years as Tulsa Athletic won the South Central Conference on July 13th, 2014.
In the Heartland Conference championship contest, Billy Nzojyibwami tallied the first goal of the match in only the sixth minute for the early 1-0 lead to the home side. After a corner kick, Aaron Ugbah sent in a cross that was headed toward the goal by Aboubakr Diallo and Nzojyibwami got the final touch for the tally and a 1-0 advantage for Tulsa Athletic early in the match.
Although Tulsa Athletic controlled possession and had many opportunities throughout the contest, the score remained 1-0 until a red card to Demize NPSL goalkeeper Nico Helin gave the home squad in green and yellow a penalty kick. Joe Garcia scored from the spot in the 81st minute to extend the advantage to 2-0 late in the match.
The two goals were all Tulsa needed as the defense turned in another outstanding performance and kept the visiting Demize scoreless.
Tulsa Athletic finished with another shutout, their fourth of the season and second against Demize NPSL. Goalkeeper Bryson Reed earned the shutout in goal. The backline of Gustavo Vargas, Joe Ruiz, Elvis Barclay and Nathan Ndomba limited the chances for Demize and controlled the contest in the shutout victory.
With the win, Tulsa Athletic extended their unbeaten streak to 12-straight contests where they have posted a 9-0-3 record, including a 2-0 mark in the postseason. In seven matches in Tulsa, the green and yellow are 6-0-1 this season.
Tulsa Athletic captured the double as they won the Heartland Conference regular season title with a 7-0-3 record and 24 points to win by 11 points over the rest of the conference.
Tulsa Athletic play the winner of the Lone Star Conference championship, which is scheduled for a 7:15 pm start between Midland-Odessa Sockers and Fort Worth Vaqueros on Saturday, in the South Region semifinals. Either Tulsa Athletic will host Fort Worth or travel to Midland for the South Regional semifinals contest on Tuesday, July 16th.
Photo Credit: Lori Scholl