FC Wichita (9-1-1) at Tulsa Athletic (6-4-1)
Saturday, July 15 :: 7:15 p.m. CST :: Stryker Soccer Complex — Wichita, Kan.
Of course it comes down to Tulsa and Wichita. The two clubs that have collectively taken home 3 conference crowns over the last four years and are back at it again, this time in the Heartland Conference Tournament Championship. The winner moves on to play the Lone Star Conference winner and secures a 2018 U.S. Open Cup birth, while the loser goes home and looks to next season.
It’s time to pack Stryker Stadium and show Tulsa how FC Wichita can turn out for a Championship match. It’s buy 2, get 1 free as FC Wichita is offering three tickets for the price of $20 on Saturday night.
FC Wichita advanced to Saturday’s showdown with a 3-2 come from behind victory against No. 4-seeded Dallas City FC. Matt Clare struck gold in the fourth minute. However, Dallas City took a 2-1 advantage into the break. Leo Sosa equalized the match in the 53rd minute on a penalty kick. Boris Tonzi gave FC Wichita the lead for good in the 86th minute, sending the boys in red onto the finals.
Athletic played in a tight contest throughout against Little Rock but prevailed late as a goal in the 83rd minute by Tulsa’s Joe Garcia. Despite being outshot and called for an excessive amount of penalties than Little Rock, Tulsa Athletic advanced to the final.
This will be the third meeting between Tulsa and FC Wichita this season. FC Wichita had thrilling come from behind wins in both matches, winning 3-2 in Tulsa and 2-1 at Stryker. FC Wichita is 3-2 all-time against Athletic. When playing at home, FC Wichita is 2-1 all-time against Tulsa. FC Wichita won in 2015, a 4-2 victory. However, they fell 4-2 in 2016. Leo Sosa scored both goals in the loss last season.
In the last NPSL Power Rankings to end the regular season, FC Wichita came at No. 4 overall and Tulsa was 41st.
Athletic is coached by Joey Ryan. Ryan has been with Tulsa Athletic since their inception in 2013. Under his helm, Athletic has won two conference championships and appeared in the national quarterfinals twice.
Kickoff for Saturday’s match is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Tickets are on sale as FC Wichita tries to pack the Stryker for Tulsa. Buy tickets at FCWichita.com or see us at the box office two hours before kickoff on Saturday.