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SPOTLIGHT
Win for FHSU soccer

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Win for FHSU soccer

Published on -9/23/2012, 7:21 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

The scoreboard didn't reflect how well the Fort Hays State University men's soccer team played Saturday.

The No. 15 Tigers defeated Harding University 2-1 at FHSU Soccer Stadium.

FHSU (7-1, 3-0 MIAA) dominated the possession, rarely letting the ball into its defensive third, and allowed only three shots and one shot on goal, which resulted in Harding's lone goal.

The Tigers had 11 shots on goal and 20 shots in the match.

"That's about as dominating -- other than the score -- as a match can be," FHSU coach Brett Parker said. "It was. We worked hard defensively, played everything forward."

Harding dropped to 3-4 and 1-2 in the MIAA.

Parker said his team emphasized pressuring higher up in the field and using his forwards to challenge Harding defenders.

It worked.

"The guys bought into it," Parker said. "... We played the entire game in the middle and the attacking third, so I couldn't be happier with the effort defensively."

However, the Tigers struggled to get on the scoreboard at first.

Though they played with the wind at their backs in the first half, nobody managed to put the ball in the back of the net.

The first goal didn't come until four minutes into the second half.

FHSU sophomore defender Carlos Linares received a cross from senior defender Patrick Brennan and headed it into the left side of the goal. It was Linares' first goal of the season.

"Usually, when the run of play is one way, (goals) will eventually come," Parker said. "We just had to look at a few things, correct a few things and capitalize on our opportunities."

Freshman midfielder Michael Cole extended FHSU's lead in the 64th minute.

Cole received a pass in transition from freshman Austin Clifton and kicked it past Harding's outstretched goalkeeper.

"I made a good run and got a good ball from Austin Clifton," Cole said. "I was able to finish, so I'm excited."

Six minutes later, Harding threatened. The Bison got the ball in the box, and freshman forward Adam Borsheim got the rebound from a deflected shot and scored to make it 2-1 and ruin FHSU's shutout.

The Tigers haven't shut out a regular season opponent since the second-to-last game of 2011.

"(The players) want it probably as bad as I do," Parker said regarding the lack of shutouts. "It's something we are desperate for."

The win against Harding was the second of a six-match homestand. FHSU plays Lindenwood (4-1-2, 1-0-1 MIAA) at 7 p.m. Thursday at FHSU Soccer Stadium.

Lindenwood was No. 3 in the most recent NCAA Division II Central Region rankings while FHSU was No. 1.

Cole said this stretch of games is important.

"We hate losing at home," Cole said. "We never lose at home. That's one of our goals. If we come out undefeated through this homestand, we should be in good shape for advancing on to (post-season tournaments)."

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