BY CAYDEN SANDERS
The Fort Hays State men’s soccer team is back home today to compete in another non-conference game against Rockhurst. The nationally ranked Tigers went 1-1 to start the year against two Colorado schools – defeating CSU-Pueblo to open the season at home and dropping a road match to UC-Colorado Springs, 2-0.
Tigers Head Coach Gerry Cleary noted that the Tigers were not ready to compete in the match against UC-Colorado Springs.
“We didn’t come out and play, it was like we had an off day, and nobody wanted to play that day,” Cleary said. “ We didn’t create any shots in that game. If we had a ball on-line, it just didn’t find the back of the net. “
With the Tigers getting ready for this week’s games, the team added another player to the roster – Tre Smith – who was cleared by the NCAA to join the team after transferring from Division I Drake University. As a transfer student, Smith is still a freshman athletically.
“We are waiting for Tre [Smith] to join the team, he is one of our players that need to get cleared, but once he’s cleared, we will need him to take up some minutes for the team,” Cleary said.
Cleary said he hopes to get another two players on the team, two Irishmen who are expected to join the team next Tuesday.
The Tigers are still ranked No. 7 in the nation as of writing, but the Tigers still have hopes to stay on top of the rankings for the rest of the season. According to Cleary, the Tigers set the goal of going 5-1 against non-conference opponents.
“We expect to go 5-1 in non-conference games this year,” he said. “This just gives us a better chance to be ahead of our conference opponents, and at the end of the year, your record matters and we need to keep the losses at a minimum.”
Cleary noted the reasoning behind the team’s goal of going 5-1 is last year’s late-season loss to a winless Harding team. With the plan of only losing one game during the beginning part of the season, the Tigers will be able to hold a national ranking and keep their goal of being the regular season conference champion.
After today’s match against Rockhurst, the Tigers are set to go on the road against Metro State in Denver for a game on Sunday.
FHSU vs. Rockhurst starts at 3 pm this afternoon at FHSU soccer stadium.