BY CAYDEN SANDERS
PHOTO BY MADISON SHAPLAND
The Fort Hays State men’s soccer team continued their homestand by facing the Tigers of Ouachita Baptist on Thursday. The two teams are on opposite sides of the conference standings with Fort Hays in second place and Ouachita Baptist finding themselves second to the bottom of the league with a winless 0-6-2 record entering the contest. Fort Hays beat Ouachita Baptist 4-0.
“I was a little bit nervous even though we had possession because it just takes one mistake by one person falling asleep. That happened to the day against Newman. Today is the first shot in the game. They hit the crossbar and he could have been down. We just got to score quicker,” FHSU Head Coach Geary Cleary said. “This is the first time we’ve had our whole squad together. Yesterday was our first practice together with a whole team. The only thing missing is three or four players each game, so I think we played well.”
The Fort Hays offense was dominant throughout the game as the team was always on the attack, keeping the ball on their side of the field for 70 percent of Fort Hays’ possession. FHSU also had control of the ball for 60 percent of the game, leading the Tigers to have more opportunities on goal, including 25 total shots and 10 on goal.
Fort Hays did not score until the 41st min with Blake Arndt’s third goal of the season. The Ouachita Baptist’s goalkeeper made a mistake, and Fort Hays capitalized on a ball that went through the hands of Armani Atilano; Ardnt was there to make the play.
Jae Ho Shin found an open Tyler Lockhart to score Fort Hays’ second goal of the game. With 13 minutes left in the match, Tadhg Walsh kicked a free kick into the box that found Haruya Iwasaki. Iwasaki scored a goal in the last two games; the first was with his foot, this time a header into the back of the net.
“So we’ve worked since Monday on finding the open space. So we have three good days to train them; we had 25 more tonight, so they were more comfortable because they have more time and space,” Cleary said.
To finish the game, the Tigers scored again on another header from Agustin Ayala in the 82nd minute of the match.
The Tiger’s offense overloaded Atilano with 25 shots the entire game. Cleary gave his thoughts on the opposing keeper who did end the night with six saves.
“He made the mistakes the goal [Blake Ardnt’s goal] ]and he’d made three or four great saves before that. But if you keep asking people questions at some point, they’re gonna make a mistake.” Cleary said
Fort Hays is back at home Saturday afternoon to take on Harding. The match is set to start at noon.