Tulsa Athletic captures first NPSL championship

Tulsa Athletic, one of the oldest teams in the NPSL, won its first championship with a shootout win over Apotheos FC in the final before 1,573 fans at Soldier Field on the campus of Rogers State University.

Tulsa Athletic, the 2021 runner-up, trailed in stoppage time when Chris Taylor’s goal forced overtime. After the match ended 1-1, Tulsa Athletic won the shootout 8-7.

The penalty kicks went to nine rounds. Both teams had one shot saved until the ninth round when Emmanuel Alerte's shot went wide and Francisco Lopez converted his attempt to win the championship.

The match had been scoreless until the 81st minute when Apotheos FC went ahead on Junior Sandoval's seventh of the season off a cross by Geo Rios.

In 2021, Tulsa Athletic lost to the Denton Diablos, 5-2, in the final. In 2022, it fell to eventual champion FC Motown, 2-1, in the semifinals.

Photo: Brett Rojo, NPSL.com

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