HAYS, Kan. — Following their clinching of the Great American Conference regular season title and top-seed in the conference tournament, FHSU men's soccer will play host to the inaugural GAC/MIAA championship on Friday (Nov. 15) and Sunday (Nov. 17).
Featured in the weekend's matchups will be Fort Hays State, Rogers State, Northeastern State, and Harding.
The Tigers completed their regular season with a record of 12-5-1 after handing Oklahoma Baptist a defeat on Saturday (Nov. 9) in an overtime matchup. While ranked as high as No. 3 in the national poll this season, FHSU is receiving votes for reentry into the top-25. Of the teams that have qualified for the Great American Conference championship, the Black and Gold are a combined 5-1 on the 2019 campaign with their only loss coming in an away match to Northeastern State. Leading the way for the Tigers has been Santiago Agudelo. The reigning national player of the year ranks third in the country in shots per game and tops the GAC in total shots, shots per game, and game-winning goals. The striker recently became the all-time leader in Fort Hays State men's soccer history in the total points category, now sitting on 92 total points over a span of just under two full seasons.
Rogers State, who is currently ranked No. 22 in the national poll by United Soccer Coaches, is also 12-5-1 on the season and sit at a 3-3 record against opponents remaining in the GAC field. The Hillcats are led by Jake Simpson who leads the GAC in assists and assists per game and Dillon Dean who tops in goals against average and save percentage. RSU is coming off of an away loss to Harding.
Ranked third in the field is Northeastern State. The RiverHawks are the only team remaining in the GAC field to have beaten Fort Hays State this season. Overall, they are 11-7, dropping five total conference matchups in 2019. They are led by Flynn Semmerling, who ranks fourth in total goals and points in the conference.
The final team that has earned a spot in the conference championship is Harding. The Bison finished the regular season 9-6-2, en route to the fourth seed in the conference. Christian Ramos tops the statistical leaderboards for the Bison, leading the GAC in goals, goals per game, points, and points per game. Seven of Ramos' 17 goals this season have come from penalty kicks-which the senior has converted at a 100-percent rate this season.
The first semifinal matchup will be between Fort Hays State and Harding on Friday (Nov. 15) at 3 p.m. Rogers State and Northeastern State will follow that matchup with a kickoff slated for 5:30 p.m.
The winner of those two matchups will face off in the championship on Sunday (Nov. 17) at 1 p.m.
Live statistics and free live video will be available for the entirety of the weekend's soccer matches. Friday's livestream will be featured on the MIAA Network while Sunday's contest can be viewed on the GAC Sports Network.
Tickets for entry into the match can be purchased at the gate. It is $5 for adults, $3 for students/youth (K-12, College), while children under fiver will be admitted for free. All FHSU students who present their student ID will also be admitted without charge.