News

BECOMING A WPSL HEAVYWEIGHT

Tulsa Soccer Club Looks Establish Dominance in Fourth Season
Published May 19, 2022
Written By:   Nichole Singleton
‚Äč              WPSL Communications


Entering its fourth WPSL season, Tulsa Soccer Club has grown into one of the league’s most consistent and competitive teams in such a short tenure. In its three previous seasons, Tulsa SC has earned division and conference titles, Best of the WPSL honors, 15 players named to All-Conference teams, and even saw two players advance to the professional level.
 

Even in its inaugural season, Tulsa proved it would be a competitor. The club joined the league in 2018 under the former brand of Fortuna Tulsa and finished third in the Southwest Conference standings with a 4-2-4 record behind FC Dallas and Oklahoma City FC.  
 

Though FC Dallas established dominance during that 2018 season with an 8-0-1 record and outscoring opponents 39/9, the battle between the 2nd and 4th positions demonstrated the strength of the conference’s competition.
 

Ultimately, Tulsa’s four draws proved to be too costly to overcome, however, its inaugural campaign did not end without recognition as it earned Franchise of the Year for the Southwest Conference and collected five All-Conference Team honors.
 

The following season saw a shift as the Southwest Conference was renamed the Red River Conference and divided into North and South Divisions. Tulsa returned for its second season hungrier and more committed to improving from its first WPSL showing.
 

This time it was Tulsa who showed dominance in the division after a 7-0-1 record and gave up five fewer goals than the season before. That finish sat Tulsa at the top of the North Division standings with a nine-point cushion.
 

The success continued as Tulsa would go on to claim the 2019 Red River Conference title and earn a spot in the Central Region finals of the WPSL Postseason. The club saw five more players named to the All-Conference Team and earned its first Best of the WPSL awards with Yolanda Thomas securing the Red River North’s Coach of the Year honor and Rachel Hummingbird taking home the North Division’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
 

After year-two’s success, Tulsa would go under a rebrand ahead of the 2020 season but would have to wait an additional year to take the field under the Tulsa Soccer Club identity as the world and sports hit pause during the pandemic. The delay, however, did not serve as a disadvantage for the club, as the 2021 season exhibited its rising success.
 

A similar script to 2019 was written on the field as Tulsa won its division, earned divisional coach, defensive player and franchise of the year awards but one imperfection found the club in the conference championship as it fell to AHFC Royals in the 84’ minute with the only goal scored in the match.
 

Even with the blemish on its 2021 season, Tulsa reached a new level of recognition in the offseason when 2021 All-Conference forward Parker Goins and 2019 All-Conference midfielder Taylor Malham signed professional contracts with Racing Louisville FC of the National Women’s Soccer League.
 

Now entering its fourth WPSL season, there’s more on the line this summer for Tulsa aside from reclaiming the Red River conference title. After a two-year hiatus, the league is bringing back its playoff and championship postseason meaning Tulsa could potentially compete for regional and league titles again.
 

It won’t be an easy feat as the Red River adds three new expansion teams to an already highly competitive conference. Though if one variable stands true for Tulsa it’s the consistency the club has exhibited since its inaugural season.
 

A lot of that consistency comes from Tulsa’s reliance on its youth club which can be seen throughout its last four WPSL rosters and this season will be no different. Aside from the talent developed within it youth club, Tulsa’s roster is flooded with NCAA Division I experience. The club has already announced 11 returning players from schools like the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, University of Tulsa, Kansas State and Ole Miss – including the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year Peyton Pearson and All-Conference honoree Mollie Breiner.
 

Tulsa’s roster may embody familiarity but there have been slight changes to the coaching side for this season as the club announced its girls academy director, Aaron Crouch, will take the reigns of the WPSL squad this summer. With the change, Yolanda Thomas has been promoted to sporting director and Lewis Amos and Nathan Doll have come on as assistant coaches.
 

Tulsa will start its 2022 campaign with two matches on the road before hosting its home opener against WPSL newcomer, DKSC BADTOP on June 4. One thing fellow Red River members can expect this season is Tulsa’s home advantage as it only gave up two goals at home all last season.
 

Tulsa will end its regular season at home against fellow Oklahoma foe, Oklahoma City FC. It may not be a rivalry written in stone but these two create a battle with every meeting. Each side earned a win against the other last season with the score coming down to a single goal difference.
 

In last season’s first showing, Tulsa lost after a 64’ goal came from Oklahoma City’s Samantha Guzman. The next meeting finished in a three-goal thriller with both sides trading leads throughout the match. Oklahoma City came out first with a goal in the third minute from Amaya Grace before Tulsa answered back twenty minutes later with a goal from Megan Nielsen. The match went scoreless for the remainder of the first half and midway through the second before Parker Goins secured the game-winner in the 76’.
 

With playoffs and a league championship back on the line this summer, it’s sure to bring out an extra edge to all the Red River teams but if Tulsa’s history and consistency foreshadow anything about this season it has no indication of letting off the gas.