TULSA, Okla. — The University of Central Arkansas men’s soccer team got its 2011 season off to a strong start Saturday, defeating Oral Roberts 3-2 in Tulsa in the season opener for both squads. 

The Bears (1-0) fell behind in the fourth minute as ORU’s John David James got the Golden Eagles on the board but answered back in the 27th minute on a header from junior Chris Deaville off an assist from junior David Ngwenya. 

After a standstill for the next 35 minutes, the Bears wasted little time in jumping out to a 3-1 lead on the Golden Eagles. In the 62nd minute, freshman Elia Louis gave UCA the go-ahead goal in his first collegiate game. Just more than three minutes later, senior Joseph Cervantes put away what would prove to be the clincher as the Bears went ahead by two. 

Oral Roberts made it 3-2 in the 68th minute on a goal from Trevor Laffoon but was unable to pull even. UCA goalkeeper Patxi Shortsleeve made two saves down the stretch, and the Golden Eagles narrowly missed on another header which hit the post. 

With the win, the Bears snap a three-game losing streak to the Golden Eagles and now hold a 4-3 edge in the series. UCA is 4-1 against ORU in Tulsa.

The Bears return to action Saturday with the home opener when they host Eastern Illinois at 4 p.m.