In An Offensive Onslaught, Tigers Fall to UCF, 4-3, in Overtime
Nov. 9, 2011
TULSA, Okla. - In a wild shootout with a controversial call at the end, Memphis fell 4-3 to UCF in the 5th minute of the first overtime in their opening round game of the Conference USA Tournament.
With a free kick deep in the Memphis side, UCF played the ball into the box. U of M goalkeeper Conor Hurley came out to make a play on the ball. The ball was deflected to UCF's McKauly Tulloch who knocked it in for the score.
While the ball was on its way to Tulloch the side linesman partially raised his flag. It is unclear whether he was starting to signal offside or interference with the goalkeeper. The head referee conferred with the linesman and then awarded the goal to UCF.
In what turned out to be an offensive onslaught by the two teams, goals were scored on through balls, rebounds, headers, free kicks and penalty kicks.
UCF struck first when Kevan George threaded a pass through the Tiger defense to Tulloch. Tulloch was able to beat goalkeeper Conor Hurley from just a couple of yards out.
Memphis equalized on a free kick by Lewis Ellis, his third goal of the year. Mark Sherrod was taken down about 23 yards out. Ellis placed a well struck ball into the upper right 90 over the Knights' wall and past goalkeeper Sebastian Evers.
The Knights struck back after consecutive corner kicks. Memphis played the second corner out of the box, but Tulloch was able to get a shot off on frame. Hurley made the save, but Malcolm Reed was there to head the rebound home.
Thomas Shannon got the Tigers even with a penalty kick in the 41st minute. Wil Linder had the ball on the right edge of the box and played a ball toward the front of the net. One of the UCF defenders reached up and hit it with his hand, resulting in the PK. Shannon beat Evers to the lower right corner to knot the game at 2-2 prior to halftime. The goal was Shannon's second of the season.
Memphis had a couple of chances early in the second half to take the lead. Ellis played a pass to Sherrod in the box. Sherrod's chip shot over the goalkeeper went just inches high. Moments later Duncan fired a shot that was tipped by Evers. Greer fired a header on the corner kick that also went just inches high.
UCF capitalized in the 62nd minute on a header by Tulloch, who finished the game with a hat trick. Spencer Scott played the ball into the box, where Tulloch was able to deflect just enough of the ball to send it over the outstretched hands of Hurley.
However, Memphis wasn't finished. In the 89th minute, Jordan Johnson flipped a ball over the UCF defense to himself. He then placed a well struck pass across the goal to a streaking Chandler Gagnon. Gagnon headed the ball home from a few yards away to send the game into overtime and set up the controversial finish. For Gagnon, the goals was his second of the season.
Head Coach Richie Grant said of the goal, "It was a great play from Jordan to just get in behind [the UCF defender] and he clipped it across and it was a good finish. I don't think you can argue with us being even at the end of regulation."
Memphis led in nearly every statistical category, shots (24-7), shots on goal (11-5) and corner kicks (6-3), as it falls to 11-6-1 (4-4) on the season. UCF improved to 11-4-3 (4-3-1) on the year.
The Tigers will return home where they'll wait to see if they receive an invite to the NCAA Tournament. Check GoTigersGo.com for information regarding men's soccer and all Tiger athletics.