HAYS, Kan. - Fort Hays State men's soccer, most recently ranked No. 9 within NCAA Super Region 3, have clinched the regular season Great American Conference title in their inaugural season with a 3-1 victory over Southern Nazarene on senior night.
FHSU now boasts three consecutive regular season conference championships-collecting two straight (2017 and 2018) in the MIAA and now their first in the GAC.
Improving to 11-5-1 on the season, the Tigers have defeated the Crimson Storm twice in 2019 pushing the all-time series between the two programs to 9-1 in favor of the Black and Gold.
Fittingly, two seniors began the scoring in the first half for Fort Hays State. Forward Santiago Agudelo found the back of the net off of a throw-in by Nathan De La Hoya. Using his body to shield his defender, Agudelo slipped the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Bence Mocsari for his 10th goal of the season.
The Tigers remained in control throughout the match, registering 14 shots on goal of 21 total attempts.
Agudelo followed up 13 minutes later, finishing another goal scoring opportunity. A pass from. Arsenio Chamorro sent De La Hoya free sprinting down the left-hand side of the field. The junior, with just one defender to beat, played a grounded cross to Agudelo, who was unmarked. He dribbled the ball around the goalkeeper and clocked in his 11th goal of the season.
In the 38th minute, Sergio Villalba continued the senior night theme as he ran onto a ball played across the 18-yard box and finished it for the third goal of the evening.
Villalba snagged his second goal of the match in the 42nd minute, beating a diving Mocsari to the left of the goal.
Agudelo took under five minutes in the second half to get his name back on the scoresheet. A ball was played through the middle of the field and found it's way to the left wing. De La Hoya played a pass that slipped Agudelo through on goal as he completed his hat trick by beating Mocsari to the near post.
Southern Nazarene's Josh Gray was able to put a tally on the board in the 69th minute on an assist from Alexandre Silva. However, Moises Peralta restrengthened the goal margin with 12 minutes left in the match.
On an assist from Antonio De La Torre and Franklin Solorio, Peralta chested the ball down in the box and blasted a shot into the top right hand corner of the goal.
Defensively, the FHSU's Cullen Fisch faced just seven shots and notched a save in his sixth victory this season.
For their final match of the 2019 campaign, FHSU will travel to Shawnee, Okla. and faces off against Oklahoma Baptist on Saturday (Nov. 9). The Bison are 5-10-1 on the season following their latest victory over Southern Nazarene on Friday, Nov. 1.
Overall, the Tigers own the series against the Bison, claiming a 4-0 record between the two sides.