FHSU men’s soccer relies on captains for season-opening victory


The Fort Hays State University men’s soccer team opened up the 2022-23 FHSU athletic year with a home match that pitted two top-25 teams against each other Thursday night. The No. 7 Tigers welcomed the No. 23 Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves to FHSU soccer stadium. In a highly competitive game that came down to the last minutes, FHSU emerged with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory. 

“It was patchy. We had 6-8 players play their first minutes of college. They’re gonna make mistakes; they’re gonna get fatigued,” FHSU Head Coach Gerry Cleary said. 

While using few reserves throughout the game, Cleary said he told his team to relax, as the Tigers play again on Sunday. Fatigue will be an issue for FHSU early on, according to Cleary. 

“It’s gonna take six to seven games before we get rolling as these lads aren’t might fit,” Cleary said. “With fatigue comes mistakes.” 

Cleary also said it was a typical first game that was played against a solid club that made the NCAA Tournament a season ago. 

FHSU captains Kieran Brown and Blake Arndt helped the Tigers to the victory, proving why they were named captains in the last ten minutes. Tied 1-1 in the 82nd min of the match, the TunderWolves earned a penalty kick. However, Kieran Brown saved the PK. A few minutes later, Arndt had a breakaway and got tripped up by a Thunderwolve defender. The Tigers earned the penalty kick and scored in the 87th min.

“That’s just what you expect from your Captain,” Cleary said. “Saves the penalty, and the other captain scores and penalties. So that’s what they’re there to do. Right? Yeah, changed the game. We shouldn’t lose two-one, but now we’re winning two-one. So that’s what we expect from our experienced players too.” 

Pueblo’s goal came on a Caio Oliveria goal in the 51st minute of the match while FHSU tied the game on a Callum Frogson goal in the 71st minute.

Fort Hays earned their first season victory at Fort Hays soccer stadium. The next game for the Tigers is Sunday in Colorado Springs against the UCCS Cougars. The start time is 3:30 local time. 

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