By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
The No. 22 ranked Fort Hays State Men’s Soccer team moved to 5-2-3 overall on the season and 3-0-1 in the GAC/MIAA with a 5-1 win over Harding on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 24) at FHSU Soccer Stadium. The five goals were a season-high for the Tigers to this point after putting in what was a season-high four against Ouachita Baptist on Thursday. Harding moved to 1-7-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the GAC/MIAA with the result.
Fort Hays State opened its scoring in the 12th minute when Blake Arndt tidied up a free kick shot that hit the far post by Ethan Doud. Arndt was there for the rebound for an easy tap-in with the goalkeeper out of position. However, just over six minutes later, Harding leveled the match on a break-away opportunity as passes from Jaelen Jackson and Jonah Pastiroff found Andrew Wagner who knocked the ball past Tiger keeper Kieran Brown.
The stalemate did not last long as the Tigers found another opportunity in the 22nd minute. Jackson Elgas crossed a ball into the box that was intended for Arndt, but it was deflected out toward the top of the box by a defender. Sean Thompson collected the loose ball and then had to jostle free between three defenders to give himself a point-blank shot that he knocked home.
Tyler Lockhart went on to add another score for the Tigers in the 40th minute off an assist from Jae Ho Shin. The Tigers led 3-1 at the break and were outshooting the Bisons 12-4.
Arndt gave the Tigers further cushion on a penalty kick goal just four and a half minutes in the second half, and then Agustin Ayala added the capping goal in the 83rd minute off a nice crossing pass from Sean Thomson.
Fort Hays State ended up outshooting Harding 18-8. Brown made two saves in the match and played just over 56 minutes in goal before yielding to Ben Dixon for the remainder of the match. Dixon did not have to record any saves. Jared Nitz had three of Harding’s five saves in goal and he yielded to Alex Kirsten-Westgard with just about 19 minutes to play.
The Tigers head on the road for their next match, facing Southern Nazarene in Bethany, Oklahoma on Thursday, September 29 before returning to Hays to take on Northeastern State on Saturday, October 1.