TULSA – The storms held off in downtown Tulsa on Saturday night as FC Tulsa hosted Memphis 901 FC in the 2022 finale. The final 3-0 scoreline did not reflect the growth and resiliency this FC Tulsa squad showed at every turn this year, ranging from a midseason coaching change to seven roster moves, but another large crowd at ONEOK Field and the sensational young talent featured in tonight’s Starting XI proved that this soccer club from Oklahoma is well on its way to accomplishing something very, very special with this city.
The visitors struck first in FC Tulsa goalkeeper Dallas Odle’s professional debut, bagging the opener in the 8′ minute. A Tulsa turnover deep within its own territory wound up haunting the club in black as Memphis star Phillip Goodrum headed in his 21st goal of the season.
From that point on, FC Tulsa defended with its life. Memphis outshot Tulsa 10-6 and posted a whopping 2.70 xG through the first 45 minutes of play.
Memphis would put up a second after referee Malik Badawi awarded a penalty to the Tennessee side in the 37′ minute, setting the stage for Aaron Molloy from the spot who went right when Odle guessed left.
Following the break, Tulsa earned the first quality look of the second half in the 53′ minute when Rodrigo da Costa made a charging run down the left side of the pitch, but his attempt was saved by the Memphis keeper. The play resulted in a corner kick which was sent just above the crossbar by Marcus Epps.
A third 901 FC goal would be in store shortly after as the substitute Dylan Borczak who had replaced an injured Goodrum earlier late in the first half beat his man and buried his shot with little resistance in the 55′ minute.
FC Tulsa never quit despite going down 3-0, spurred on by the crowd of nearly 5,500. Donovan Ricketts exhausted all five of his substitutions by the 46′ minute looking for a spark. Despite the efforts made, the club never found the breakthrough it was working so hard to achieve.
The final whistle that blew at the 90+4′ minute signaled not only the end of the match, but the end of the 2022 season. Although the players and coaches have admitted FC Tulsa did not live up to the standards that they had set for themselves at the beginning of the season, this club showed growth, tenacity, and fight that makes up champions.
Saturday night may not have ended the way FC Tulsa was hoping its campaign would conclude, but this is just the beginning – March will be here before we know it. Then we run it back.
9′ MEM – Phillip Goodrum (Leston Paul)
37′ MEM – Aaron Molloy (PK)
55′ MEM – Dylan Borczak
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