With 0-2 records in the MIAA, both Northeastern State and Fort Hays State were fighting for their first conference win of the season. The game seemed destined for extra time before Darby Hirsch played hero for the second time this season as she netted a late-game goal to give the Tigers a 1-0 victory over the RiverHawks.
With the win, FHSU recorded their first MIAA win to improve to 1-2 in conference and 3-5-2 overall. Northeastern State dropped to 6-4 and 0-3 in MIAA play on the season.
Both teams played lock down defense and relied on their goalkeepers to keep the match scoreless. However, in the 85th minute, Hirsch connected on passes from both Cailey Perkins and Chloe Montano as she played the ball ahead to capture her second goal of the season. This shot gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with just five minutes remaining in regulation. That goal would prove to be the winner for FHSU as they earned their first MIAA win of the season.
Fort Hays State out-shot Northeastern State in the match by a 19-6 margin, with 10 hitting on goal. Perkins led the way with four shot attempts on the day, the most for any player. Nikita Woods and Olympia Katsouridis accounted for three shots each, while five other Tigers recorded at least one shot. For the RiverHawks, five players attempted a shot against Tiger keeper Megan Kneefel, led by Valeriia Pankratova with two.
The Tigers were awarded two yellow cards in the match during the final 10 minutes against Katsouridis and Macy Decker.
Kneefel picked up the win in net for the Tigers, improving her record to 3-4-2 and totaling 44 saves after collecting five in the match. Brennan Hockett falls to 5-3 for the RiverHawks and adds nine saves to her total for the season.
Fort Hays State is back home next weekend for another two-match weekend in Hays. On Friday (Oct. 5) the Tigers welcome Missouri Western in a 7 p.m. duel followed by a 2:30 p.m. match against Northwest Missouri State on Oct. 7.