BROWNWOOD, Texas — Hardin-Simmons’ men’s soccer team won the right to host the American Southwest Conference Championship with a 3-0 win over Howard Payne in the final ASC game of the season for the Cowboys.
HSU could still win the ASC regular-season title with a loss or tie by Mississippi College against Louisiana College on Saturday. MC is ineligible for the ASC postseason thus giving the Cowboys the No. 1 seed and the right to host the tournament.
The Cowboys dominated the matchup with the Yellowjackets, outshooting HPU 23-9 in the match and having an 11-0 advantage on corner kicks.
HSU jumped on the board first when Tanner Coffin found Kevin McNeal on a throw-in and McNeal finished for his fifth goal of the season 29:45 into the game.
Dustin Beal was in the right place at the right time just before halftime and he put away a rebound off a save that had deflected off the goal post for his third goal of the season.
Rowan Meyer scored the final goal at the 80:32 mark for his fourth score of the season.
Michael Vargas recorded the shutout in goal with seven saves. It was his eighth shutout of the season and pushed his record to 5-1-4 in goal.
The Cowboys are now 8-3-5 on the season and are riding a 13-game unbeaten streak. They finished conference play 6-0-4 and outscored its opponents 17-1 in league play. HPU ended its season with a 1-17 mark and 0-10 in league action.
HSU will close the regular season with a non-conference game against UC-Santa Cruz on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Austin College in Sherman.