A near capacity crowd watch FC Wichita beat Tulsa Athletic to win the Heartland Conference Championship 5-1 on Saturday night at Stryker Soccer Complex.

It is the second conference championship in FC Wichita’s young history.

FC Wichita is now the No. 2 seed in the South Region semi-finals. They’ll host Midland Odessa FC on July 22. The Winner will play the winner between No. 1 Miami Fusion FC and No. 4 Inter Nashville FC.

“These players deserve all the credit,” FC Wichita head coach Steve Rayos said. “They bought in, implemented a plan and stuck to it.”

With raucous crowd behind them, FC Wichita waited no time getting on the board as Matt Clare caught a cross from Luca Anelli putting the boys in red up in the fourth minute.

“This is the best home field advantage,” Leo Sosa said about the standing room only crowd. “If we can get this again for the rest of the season, it’ll be tough to beat us here.”

The fireworks continued in the 16th minute when Deri Corfe fought off a physical defense from Athletic backline to slip one behind the keeper, putting FC Wichita up 2-0.

Seconds later, a misplayed ball fell into the lap of Clare, who sneaked behind the keeper and within the blink of an eye, FC Wichita jumped up 3-0.

“I am nothing without Deri (Corfe),” Clare said. “We’re a lethal group and from top to bottom this team is unstoppable.”

Tulsa snuck one back in the 26th minute as FC Wichita took a commanding 3-1 lead at the break.

Corfe scored his second goal and ninth of the season in the 67th minute, putting Reds high control as his goal put FC Wichita up 4-1. The Air Capital Firm shot their confetti as the boys could feel a championship in their grasps.

“That first 25 minutes were some of our best of the season,” Corfe said. “It’s special it happened against our biggest rival.

The cherry on top of the cake came when Clare chipped a gorgeous ball over the Tulsa keeper and right into the back of the net, icing the game 5-1 in the 76th minute

Clare’s goal was his 10th of the season.

“When we play to this level, no one can beat us.” Ralos said.

Only one minute of added time slowed the champagne from flowing. When the match ended, the players rushed to the supports and the celebrations was on.

“This is great,” Clare said. “We still have unfinished business. Take this in and get ready for next week.”

FC Wichita will host Midland-Odessa on Saturday, July 22 at 7:15 p.m. at Stryker. You can purchase tickets at FCWichita.com. The Box office opens for onsite tickets at 6 p.m. on game day.

About Charles Chaney

Charles Chaney is a social media professional for both the FC Wichita men's and women's clubs.