After mulling over a 2-0 deficit at halftime, the 23rd-ranked Fort Hays State men's soccer team stormed back in the second half with three goals to top Harding Thursday evening (Oct. 24), 3-2. The rally helped Fort Hays State preserve the longest active home winning streak in NCAA Division II, now at 22 matches.
Fort Hays State improves to 9-4-1 overall and 8-1-1 in GAC action with the win, two games clear of second place Harding (7-4-2, 6-3-1 GAC).
The Tigers sent a barrage of shots towards the net in the second 45 minutes, attempting 17 shots after halftime. FHSU finally broke through in the 56th minute thanks to a quick reaction from Alonso Rodriguez. Santiago Agudelo attempted a shot from outside the box that was blocked by a defender and quickly bounced towards Rodriguez. The sophomore wound up and sent a shot screaming past the keeper on his first touch, putting the Tigers within one.
The Black and Gold kept the pressure on, taking shot after shot that narrowly missed the target. Fort Hays State finally leveled the score with just over 17 minutes remaining after a fantastic connection between Agudelo and Moises Peralta. Agudelo won possession in the box and dribbled towards the corner, waiting for things to materialize around the net. The senior made a quick turnaround pass into the six-yard box directly to Peralta, who headed it home inside the near post to tie things up at two.
A Bison defender was sent off soon after when he accumulated a second yellow card in the 76th minute, forcing Harding to finish the match with just 10 players. The Tigers took advantage in the 85th minute, recording the game winner on a rocket off the right foot of Rogelio Lopez. After a long Ross Boyd throw in was fought over in the penalty area, the ball found its way to Arsenio Chamorro just outside the 18-yard box. The junior used one brilliantly controlled touch to set up Lopez 25 yards out. The keeper had no chance as Lopez sent a missile screaming into the upper left corner, giving the Tigers their first lead of the day with just over five minutes to play.
Harding took an early lead in the first half when Christian Ramos took a quick free kick around the wall and past a diving Cullen Fisch nine minutes in. Donnell Bowes doubled the Bison lead with a header off a corner kick from Oliver Callado in the 16th minute.
The Tigers had a staggering 25-7 advantage in shots taken, including a 17-3 edge after halftime. Fort Hays State attempted seven corners, while the Bisons took two corners in the match.
Fisch's lone save came with 25 seconds left after a desperation shot from 30 yards out. The senior improved his record to 4-3-1 on the year with the victory.
The Tigers will look to inch closer to the GAC regular season title when they host Ouachita Baptist on Saturday (Oct. 26) at 11 a.m.