BY CAYDEN SANDERS
On Sunday, the FHSU women’s soccer team competed at home against in-state rival Emporia State. The Tigers and Hornets had an eventful first half as both teams scored two goals in the first frame. Both sets of goals came off penalty kicks and defensive breakdowns. The second half did not decide the winner of the match, and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
“We are always going to know the Hornets; they are rivals in the conference, which makes it a battle and turns into an edgy affair,” Tigers’ Head Coach Tyson John said.
The Tigers and Hornets came into the game with one previous meeting on the season, a game played just one week ago which ended in a tie. The match was classified as a non-conference contest.
Emporia State was the first team to get on the board, taking advantage of a corner kick that found the back of the net. Joanie Westcoat crossed the ball in for Hannah Woolery to head the ball in the 8th minute of the match.
The Tigers leveled the match in the 14th minute as Sullivan Kelly sent a corner kick into the box for Hannah Mares to score – her third goal on the season.
Fort Hays took control of the game with a defensive error by the Hornets that led to three shots on-goal for the Tigers resulting in Montserrat Diaz score.
Diaz didn’t start the year in the starting lineup. However, a few games into the season, John proceeded to put her in the starting lineup where the forward responded by scoring a goal. In this game, she scored her fourth goal of the season.
“I am happy to be on the starting lineup; this is a good team with great coaches. I feel confident with this team, which has helped me score goals,” Diaz said.
Emporia State tied up the match in the 31st minute as Hannah Woolery scored as Emporia caught the Fort Hays defensive line out of formation.
“Emporia did a great job of attacking that series, and their forward [Woolery] took advantage of their position on the field,” John said.
The Tigers’ offense in their previous home game had possession for around 65 percent of th time, but on Sunday, the Tigers struggled all game to move the ball as the team collectively had the ball on the attacking side of the field only 48 percent of the contest. Fort Hays’s defense had their work cut out for them as the Hornets had the ball on the Tigers’ side of the field for 73 percent of their possession time.
“We struggled with our offense, and when you play a direct team like Emporia State, you will have to get back on defense, and they do it well where you can find your defense on its heels,” John said.
Emporia held the Fort Hays offense to just nine shots the entire game. For the second game in a row, the Tigers were outshot by their opponent.
The Tigers are still undefeated as they move to 5-0-3. The Tigers are on the road to Missouri this week to take on Northwest Missouri State at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and Missouri Western at 1 p.m. on Sunday.