WWU Plays to 2-2 Tie Against Fort Hays State

Sept. 16, 2017

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Senior forward Anthony Dean scored twice in the 50th minute before visiting Fort Hays State answered with a pair of goals later in the second half as the Western Washington University men's soccer team battled to a 2-2 tie against the Tigers after two overtime periods on Saturday night at Harrington Field.

The Vikings (1-2-2) went into overtime for the fourth time in five games during the 2017 non-conference schedule and will now prepare for Great Northwest Athletic Conference play, which begins next Thursday with a home game against Saint Martin's.

After a scoreless first half, Dean (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Bellevue College) converted a pair of penalty kicks just 13 seconds apart for a 2-0 lead but Fort Hays State (0-4-2) scored in the 51st minute and 76th minute during the second half to draw even.

Dean gave WWU a 1-0 lead with a penalty kick in the 50th minute (49:37) for his team-leading fourth goal of the season and fourth consecutive game with a goal, scoring to the right side of the net as the Fort Hays State goalkeeper dove in the opposite direction.

The Vikings quickly created an attacking opportunity following the first goal and were awarded a second penalty kick at the 49:50 mark, 13 seconds after the first penalty kick. Dean once again finished the opportunity with a shot to the upper-left side of the net over the diving goalkeeper, recording his third career two-goal game at WWU (achieved twice previously during the 2016 season) and scoring his conference-leading fifth goal of the season.

Midfielder Derick Gonzalez scored both goals for the Tigers, his third and fourth goals of the season. He converted a penalty kick in the 51st minute to bring the Tigers within 2-1, marking the third penalty kick in the game within a span of a minute and 22 seconds.

The equalizing goal for Fort Hays State came in the 76th minute as Gonzalez dribbled across the top of the box from left to right and fired a low shot from 20 yards away to the lower-left corner of the net.

The Vikings generated 1 shot following the equalizing goal during the second half and 9 shots between the two overtime periods (2 shots on goal) but were unable to score a golden goal. The WWU defense held the Tigers to a single shot over the course of the two overtime periods, with the lone Fort Hays State shot in the 105th minute saved by senior goalkeeper Tyler Visten (Mount Vernon, WA/Skagit Valley College).

"I thought the first half we were very good again, so we're pretty consistent with our starts," head coach Greg Brisbon said. "Overall, a very good game from us. At some point we're going to have to start learning how to close out games and that's where we're at right now -- once we figure that out I think we're going to have a very good season." 

The Vikings fired a season-high 31 shots during the game and put a season-high 10 shots on goal compared with 8 total shots and 5 shots on goal for the Tigers. WWU held an 8-5 edge in corner kick opportunities during the game as well.

Visten made 3 saves for the Vikings while Fort Hays State goalkeeper Michael Yantz recorded 8 saves.

Saturday's game was the final non-conference game for the Vikings before the beginning of the conference schedule and the second consecutive season WWU hosted Fort Hays State at Harrington Field (WWU won, 1-0, during previous matchup in 2016).

"We can't wait to start conference play, that's important and very big for us so we're excited," Brisbon said. "Two big games for us, two quality opponents, so that's what we're going to prepare for."

WWU begins the GNAC schedule next week, hosting Saint Martin's on Thursday at 4 pm as part of a Thursday soccer doubleheader at Harrington Field with the WWU women facing Simon Fraser at 7 pm. The Vikings will then travel to Seattle Pacific on Saturday for the first conference road game of the season, set to begin at 7 pm.

Match Notes: The Vikings went to overtime for the fourth time in five games during the non-conference schedule and have been to overtime in all three home games at Harrington Field during 2017...WWU posted season-high totals in shots (31) and shots on goal (10) against the Tigers...Saturday's game was the first game of the season in which WWU did not score a goal in the first half...Vikings hosted the Tigers for a second consecutive season at Harrington Field, topping Fort Hays State 1-0 in the 2016 matchup...senior forward Anthony Dean entered the evening leading the GNAC in points (8) with 3 goals and 2 assists and now leads the conference in points (12) and goals (5), scoring goals in four consecutive games...Dean recorded his third career two-goal game at WWU on Saturday against Fort Hays State.

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