UTSA’s AAC opener at Tulsa ends in a scoreless draw

TULSA, Okla. – The UTSA soccer team (5-2-2) battled Tulsa (2-6-1) for the full 90 minutes of a defensive tilt that ended with a scoreless draw to open American Athletic Conference play on Thursday night at Hurricane Stadium. The Roadrunners kick off league play with an AAC point on the road.

The inaugural half of American Athletic Conference play for the Roadrunners proved to be a defensive battle in Tulsa – and a physical one, with 18 fouls and a yellow card. However, the Roadrunners were not without opportunities, coming out of the opening half with a 4-2 shot advantage and the 53-47 edge on possession. For UTSA, 3-of-4 shots ended on target, snagged for saves by Tulsa goalkeeper Tatum Sanders. The one that got away was a 14th-minute goal by Alissa Stewart called back on an offsides whistled after the ball met multiple headers off an Olivia Alvarez corner.

The waved-off score loomed large as the minutes expired. Despite a more aggressive second half that saw UTSA add seven more shots with three more on target, the Golden Hurricane defense kept UTSA off the board.

Likewise, Tulsa fired off four more shots, including a pair on target saved by Jasmine Kessler, including a 57th-minute deflection that snuffed out Tulsa’s best shot on goal – a bullet from the right side by Jordan Frederick. The Roadrunners defense broke up numerous opportunities for the Golden Hurricane – down the stretch, Haley Lopez halted Tulsa’s best open-field push, wedging in front of the shooter and delivering a perfect slide tackle that sent the ball upfield in the opposite direction in the 69th minute.

The Roadrunners kept Sanders on her toes as she logged six saves. In the UTSA net, Kessler totaled three saves on the night in her second shutout in three starts.

Marlee Fray topped the UTSA attack with two shots, both on target, while Jordyn Hyland also tabbed a pair of shots. Freshman Tyler Coker saw her first action as a Roadrunner and played 27 minutes.  

Quoting Coach Derek Pittman
“Tremendous defensive effort and focus on the road to secure a shutout and our first point in AAC league play. Unfortunately, we lacked quality in the final third to finish an opportunity to win it. There are no easy games in the AAC, and we have to be better with our set play services and deliveries in the box. The exciting thing is we get to prepare for a very good Big 12 opponent on Sunday.”

UP NEXT: Back in the Lone Star State, UTSA will head to Waco to face off with the Baylor Bears for the 12th time in program history. Baylor leads the series 10-0-1, dating back to a September matchup in UTSA’s inaugural 2006 season. The last formal meeting was in 2017, but the Bears edged UTSA in exhibition play last season, 2-1. Baylor is 4-3-1 after squaring off with 17th-ranked Texas on Thursday. The Bears held the Longhorns to a scoreless outing until the 54th minute, but the floodgates opened late, as UT pulled away to a 4-0 win on three goals in the final 13 minutes.


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