BY CAYDEN SANDERS
PHOTOS BY RICARDO LUJAN JR
Photos from Friday’s match against UCO
Fort Hays State University women’s soccer scored two goals to beat Newman University at home 2-0 on Sunday to wrap up a busy homecoming week on the FHSU campus.
The Tigers came into their final match of homecoming weekend against a winless Newman University soccer team. Fort Hays had just played a match against the University of Central Oklahoma less than 43 hours earlier, a 2-1 loss, prior to returning to the pitch to play the Jets.
“This is the best team I have coached here. But we have struggled to win close games like Friday against Central Oklahoma. This team is capable of winning the conference, and also capable of not making the playoffs,” Tigers’s Head Coach Blake Reynolds said. “Every game at this point of the season we need to see results. We have tied the number five team in the nation, we felt like we beat them. Friday coming into the game we thought it was going to be a coin flip, and we just need to find a way to win games like that to be serious competitors in this league.”
The Tigers came out and played on the ball defense and did not let the Jets get consecutive passes down the field. Newman played a 4-3-3 structure, and at times cut the width of the field in half to be able to pass the ball around. Fort Hays came out with the same structure but played a wider offensive attack, shooting wider than the keeper box, and crossed the ball in.
Fort Hays started the game having trouble offensively finding the back of the net, until the 35 minute from a long strike from midfielder Amanda Rapaduski going top right shelf to get the Tigers on the board.
The Jets kept FHSU out of their net for the rest of the half, and the Tigers lead 1-0 into the second half.
Both the Jets and Tigers came out with the same strategies as the first half; but the Tigers offensive pieces found other players to get more shots on goal.
Fort Hays had one final goal on the day coming from forward Jersey Garoutte pushed the lead to 2-0.
“Our conference is the best. It has been the five years I have been here, there are no gimme games,” Reynolds said. “This team is able to catch fire, we just need to win a couple in a row and this team will go anywhere, but Friday at home is a big one for us.”
Newman University moves to 0-7-1 on the year. Fort Hays continues their homestand next Friday night against a 5-3-2 Missouri Western team. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
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