Tulsa, Oklahoma –
Southern States Soccer Club’s Stars traveled nine hours on Saturday before playing in Sunday’s NPSL South Region Championship game with hosts Tulsa Athletic.
The Stars had defeated Naples (Florida) in the Gulf Coast Conference final by 5-1 on Friday evening before making the long trip to Oklahoma.
The game probably proved to be at least one day too soon. After the scores were tied 1-1 within the first ten minutes, the rest of the game remained scoreless through the end of the 90 minutes.
Two extra-time periods of 15 minutes were called for to try and separate the two teams. If that didn’t decide it, then it would have been a penalty-kick shootout to decide who advanced to the National Sem-Final game next Saturday.
The extra-time was in its last-minute when good work on the right touchline saw Tulsa’s Riolin Mello trick a Stars defender and with that Mello streaked into the penalty area unchallenged, crashing the ball high and past Grejeda in the Stars goal for a crushing winning goal.
In the few minutes of injury time remaining, the Stars threw everybody forward looking for a tieing goal but Tulsa held on to advance.