Gomez-Junco's Golden Goal Sends No. 4/6 Memphis Past Tulsa, 2-1
Nov. 2, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - No. 4/6 Memphis (19-0-1) weathered the storm, defeating Tulsa (10-8-3) 2-1 in overtime to open the Conference USA Women's Soccer Tournament at Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
In the 92nd minute the Tigers sealed the game and a spot in the semi-finals when Natalia Gomez-Junco booted the game winning goal. Melissa Smith found Gomez-Junco on a give and go, Gomez-Junco then beat Tulsa goalkeeper Katie Bykowski to the right post for the score. The goal was Gomez-Junco's eighth of the year with the assist by Smith.
Trailing for only the second time this season, Memphis netted the equalizer in the 81st minute with Melissa Smith's fifth goal of the season. C-USA Offensive Player of the Year Christabel Oduro sprinted down the left flank and served the ball into the box where Smith awaited for a right-footed strike to the right post. Oduro picked up her fifth assist of the season on the goal.
Tulsa got on the board first with a goal in the 50th minute with a shot by Lexis Learmonth. Claire Hulcer played the free kick into the box and Learmonth put it away from the right side after slotting the ball past the outstretched hands of Memphis goalkeeper Elise Kuhar-Pitters. The goal put the Lady Tigers behind for only the second time this season.
The Lady Tigers out-shot Tulsa in the first half 14-2, but only two shots were on frame. C-USA Offensive Player of the Year Christabel Oduro nearly put the U of M ahead but her header in the 10th minute grazed the crossbar and sailed out of play.
Memphis allowed a goal in the C-USA Tournament for the first time since the opening round of 2009 C-USA Women's Soccer Tournament. The scoreless streak totaled over 410 minutes in four-plus matches. The U of M improves their program-record win total to 19 with the victory. The overtime victory marks the first since Oct. 5, 2007 against UAB. Tulsa became the second team to take a lead on Memphis this season and the U of M has trailed just 65:01 minutes this season.
The Lady Tigers now move on to face East Carolina in the C-USA Semifinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. on the pitch at Mike Rose Soccer Complex.