Tulsa star plays with heavy heart

Tulsa takes a 10-game winning streak -- the longest in the nation -- into its NCAA Division I Men's Tournament game Wednesday night against Central Connecticut State.

The Golden Hurricane capped its run in the Conference USA with a 3-2 win over FIU in the tournament final 10 days ago, but the victory was tempered by the news that leading scorer Todd Goddard's mother, Carol, had died that morning after a long battle with cancer.

Goddard had missed the two games of the C-USA tournament in Birmingham, Ala., to be at his mother's side back in Tulsa but returned for the final in which he brought Tulsa back from 2-1 down, punching in his 10th goal of the season with a little under 10 minutes to play.

"We knew Todd needed to take some time for his family, but when I talked with him on Friday night it was clear that he wanted to come back for the championship game," Tulsa coach Tom McIntosh said. "It was what his mom wanted, what his family wanted and what he wanted."

Goddard is one of four seniors, all Oklahomans, who have had big years for the Golden Hurricane, who rose to sixth in the country in the final Soccer America Top 25 -- its highest ranking ever.

Goalie Dominic Cervi (Norman) earned first-team All-Conference USA honors, and Eric Burkholder (Broken Arrow) and Brian McCurdy (Jenks) teamed up for the winning goal against FIU in the C-USA final.

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