LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Tulsa Athletic U20 defeated Arkansas Wolves, 3-2, on Saturday at Scott Field to win the UPSL Central Conference and earn promotion into UPSL Division 1.
Tulsa Athletic U20 finished with a three-point lead in the conference standings with 29 points to edge out Tyler FC. The green and yellow went 9-1-2 in their inaugural season in the UPSL, while Tyler FC finished at 8-2-2 in league play and 26 points.
Needing only a draw to clinch the conference championship, the visiting Tulsa Athletic U20 gained an early advantage in the contest when Jack Bratcher tallied the first goal of the game.
Tulsa Athletic U20 took that 1-0 lead into halftime after 45 minutes of action.
Early in the second half, the host Arkansas Wolves tied the score at 1-1. A punch out by Tulsa Athletic U20’s goalkeeper fell right to Arkansas with the Wolves taking advantage of the opportunity to even the game at 1-1.
The green and yellow regained the lead in the 65th minute after Aaron Ugbah earned the visitors a penalty after he was brought down in the box. Fernando Saldana scored from the spot to put Tulsa up 2-1.
Luke Jeffus put the game away with a stunning strike in the 84th minute to increase the score to 3-1 for Tulsa Athletic U20.
The Arkansas Wolves scored late for the final mark of 3-2.
Tulsa Athletic U20 finished their inaugural season with a 9-1-2 record in the UPSL to win the Central Conference North – Red River. With the conference championship, Tulsa Athletic U20 earned promotion into UPSL Division 1 for the spring season.
For the 2019 season, Tulsa Athletic captured championships in both the NPSL and UPSL. The Tulsa Athletic first team won the NPSL Heartland Conference with an unbeaten 7-0-3 record during the regular season. Tulsa Athletic advanced to the South Region championship in the playoffs.
The next action for Tulsa Athletic will be in the US Open Cup when the first team takes on Fort Worth Vaqueros on March 24 at 7 p.m. at Case Soccer Complex on the campus of Oral Roberts University.