The Tulsa Roughnecks preseason preparations continued Wednesday morning with a 3-2 victory over Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The Roughnecks got goals from Sammy Ochoa, Cristian Mata and newcomer Matt Whatley to record the victory.
The win improved Tulsa’s preseason record to 3-1-3 with one match remaining before the start of the USL regular season. The Roughnecks will host NPSL side F.C. Wichita Saturday night at ONEOK Field.
Ochoa’s goal opened the scoring just past the 15-minute mark. It was the fifth goal of the preseason for the Roughnecks’ leading goal scorer in 2015.
The Mustangs answered with a pair of goals before the half to take a 2-1 lead into the interval.
After the break, the Roughnecks opened the second 45 minutes positively, and it took them just over 10 minutes to equalize. Mata’s header off a cross from Iarfhlaith Davoren evened the score at 2-2.
Ten minutes later, Whatley got on the scoreboard in his first match with the Roughnecks. The Welsh defender finished off a corner kick from Adriano Pellegrino to give Tulsa a 3-2 lead. Whatley only arrived in Tulsa over the weekend.
“We were awful the first 10 minutes of the match,” said Head Coach David Irving. “I thought we were much better the second half. We controlled the match and got two good goals.”
Irving is pleased with the resiliency his side have shown, coming from behind to gain points in three of their outings this spring.
“We keep coming back in matches and showing some character,” he added. “And, we keep getting better with each game. It was a good outing this morning for us against a quality side at just a beautiful facility.”
The match kicked off at 8:00AM to accommodate the class schedules for several of the SMU players.
The Roughnecks preseason finale on Saturday, March 19 is scheduled for a 7:00pm kickoff at ONEOK Field. Tickets for the match are included in all full season ticket plans. Individual tickets are now on sale at TulsaRoughnecksFC.com.