The 2018 college soccer season opened with numerous Tulsa Athletic players making an impact in the first two week of the season.
Joe Ruiz scored the game-winning goal with Gustavo Vargas providing the assist as TU upset No. 15 Michigan, 2-1, in Ann Arbor in the season opener for the Golden Hurricane. Three A's players started during the opening weekend for TU as the Golden Hurricane went to Michigan and came out unbeaten against two nationally-ranked Big Ten teams.
In the opener at Michigan, Vargas, Ruiz and Ryan Alpers all played the complete 90 minutes in the 2-1 victory for TU. Ruiz totaled three shots with two shots on goal. Alpers and Vargas played on the backline with Vargas tallying one shot on goal.
The trio led the Golden Hurricane to a 0-0 draw at No. 3 Michigan State on Sunday, Aug. 26 in East Lansing. Ruiz and Vargas each played the full 110 minutes in the double overtime contest. Alpers went 103 minutes. The defense held the Spartans scoreless with Alpers and Vargas anchoring the defense.
The Golden Hurricane lost to UNLV in their home opener by a 1-0 score on Aug. 31. Alpers, Ruiz and Vargas all started and each registered one shot. Adam Habib made an appearance as a reserve. In their most recent action, the Golden Hurricane defeated North Florida, 3-2, on Sept. 2 in Tulsa. After falling behind 1-0 in the first half, TU scored three goals in five minutes to take control of the contest. The trio of Alpers, Ruiz and Vargas once again started with Habib coming off the bench.
TU continues a five-match homestand at Hurricane Stadium this weekend as the Golden Hurricane host New Mexico on Friday (Sept. 7) at 7 p.m. and welcome Saint Louis to Tulsa on Tuesday (Sept. 11) for a 7 p.m. contest.
Joe Garcia is off to a sizzling start in his senior season for No. 8 Northeastern State. Garcia began the 2018 season with a goal and two assists in a 3-1 win over Quincy on Aug. 30. In a 5-0 victory over Drury on Sept. 1, Garcia finished with a brace. Garcia was named the MIAA Player of the Week after his outstanding opening week performance with three goals and two assists. Aaron Ugbah started in both matches for NSU to open the season. He played 65 minutes against Quincy, and tallied three shots in 42 minutes against Drury. The RiverHawks are back in action on Saturday when they host Oklahoma Christian.
Benedictine started the 2018 season with a 2-0 win over Northwestern (Iowa) on Saturday, Aug. 25 in Atchison, Kansas. Lucca Rodrigues played the full 90 minutes on defense in the shutout victory. The Ravens are 0-2-1 since their season opening win in three road games, including two against nationally-ranked opponents. Rodrigues started in a 1-0 loss at Bellevue on Aug. 29, and helped Benedictine to a 0-0 draw against No. 25 Northwestern Oklahoma on Sept. 1. Rodrigues totaled two shots in the scoreless draw. In a 3-1 loss to No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan, Rodrigues once again started on the backline for the Ravens. Benedictine returns home for a six-match homestand starting with Avila on Sept. 10.
Lubbock Christian opened the 2018 campaign with a 1-1 record during the first week. After an early red card, the Chaps played even with UC-Colorado Springs until a goal in overtime downed LCU 2-1 on Aug. 31 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Jonathan Woods played the full 94 minutes in the close loss. The Chaps earned a 5-0 win over Colorado Christian on Sept. 2 with Woods going the full 90 minutes. LCU hosts Southern Nazarene on Sept. 8 in Lubbock, Texas for its home opener.
Frank Cotroneo came off the bench and played 51 minutes in the season opener for Siena in a 2-2 draw at Houston Baptist on Friday, Aug. 31. In a 4-1 loss to UT Rio Grande Valley two days later on Sunday, Sept. 2, Controeo made his first start of the season totaled 56 minutes on defense. In Siena's most recent match, Cotroneo played 17 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Lafayette on Sept. 4. Siena takes on Stony Brook on Saturday (Sept. 8) in its home opener.