The Saint Louis University Billikens men’s soccer team will host Tulsa Thursday night at Hermann Stadium in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 pm with tickets priced at $10 for adults and $5 for children. The winner will move on to face Louisville on Sunday, November 23rd at Louisville.
The Billikens are making their 48th appearance in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. They finished the regular season with a 13-4-2 record and entered the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament with a #2 overall seed. The Bills won their first round game, but then fell to Fordham, the eventual tournament champion, in the semifinals.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane won the American Athletic Conference Championship 6-5 in penalty kicks over the University of South Florida and received the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. This will be their ninth appearance in the tournament. The program has complied a 8-8-1 overall record.
The Saint Louis University Billikens are one of the most storied programs in NCAA soccer. In the program’s 48 NCAA appearances, they’ve compiled a record of 67-35-5. SLU’s 10 National Championships are more than any other program in the country, although they haven’t won the big prize since 1973. The last Billiken appearance in the tourney was in 2012 and their highest finish recently was in 2003. That team outlasted Binghamton and Washington in overtime games before falling to Maryland in the quarterfinal.
In the latest edition of the NCAA D-1 RPI ratings, the Billikens come in 25th overall. Tulsa clocks in at 36. Saint Louis, which hasn’t lost at home at Hermann this season, beat Tulsa in the 2014 regular season opener 1-0. They also beat their potential second round opponent, Lousiville, 1-0 earlier in the season.
Billiken coach Mike McGinty told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that is team is excited to be playing their first game of the tournament at home.
“It’s been big for us,” McGinty said. “We haven’t lost at home in two years, and there’s a reason for that. But playing against teams like Tulsa and Louisville isn’t easy. Once you’re in November weird things can happen.”
The Saint Louis University Billikens are led in scoring by senior and Parkway North product Robert Kristo, who has 13 goals on the season. That total has him tied for fourth overall in the country. Goalkeeper Sascha Otte, a freshman from Mettingen, Germany, has compiled a 12-4-2 record on the season with a 0.87 goals against average. Senior Anthony Manning was recently honored for the second consecutive season as the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year and junior David Graydon was named the league’s Midfielder of the Year.
Tulsa is led in scoring by Akeil Barrett and Ray Saari, who have six goals on the season each. Tulsa has outscored its opponents 29-22 on the season whereas SLU has a 33-17 edge on its opponents.
Game time is set for 7 pm tomorrow night at Hermann Stadium on the Saint Louis University campus. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for children at the door. Students are eligible to pick up free tickets today on campus.
Brought to you by Mills Properties.