KU Soccer Prepares for European Tour
March 13, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas soccer team will travel east next week to participate in a nine-day tour of Europe. The Jayhawks will play four exhibition matches in four countries versus international competition, which will include visits to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.
“This trip will benefit the team in so many ways,” said head coach Mark Francis. “This allows us four extra games and some extra training days in the spring that we normally wouldn’t have. In Europe, you know we’re going to get good competition so I think it will test us. It will be good preparation and get us some great experience going in to next fall.”
The Jayhawks will depart from Lawrence on Friday, March 15 and arrive in Munich the morning of March 16. KU will play its first contest against SpVgg Kaufbeuren on the evening of March 18 in Kaufbeuren, Bavaria, Germany. The following day, the team will travel south into Austria and its fifth-largest city, Innsbruck. The evening of March 19, KU will hit the pitch versus Austria’s 1st Division Club team, Wacker Innsbruck.
On Wednesday, March 20, the Jayhawks make the two-hour bus ride to Liechtenstein where, after some sightseeing, will take on the Swiss U23 national team that afternoon. Kansas will get a break from match action on Thursday, March 21 as they recover with a mountain excursion to Mt. Pilatus.
The team will make a short trip through the Swiss Alps the morning of Friday, March 22 and are slated to arrive at their final destination, Como, Italy. The Jayhawks will then play a late-afternoon match versus Real Meda Italian Serie B Team.
KU will spend its final full day (March 23) in Italy sightseeing in Como and Milan before departing from Zurich the following morning to head back to Lawrence.
“This will be a great opportunity for our team,” concluded Francis. “It will be great for them to see the culture, but also they’ll be able to get a sense of how big soccer is over there. Hopefully, they’ll get a better appreciation for our sport by seeing and experiencing the game overseas.”
Fans can follow the Jayhawks as they travel and play their way through Europe by logging on to the trip blog at the KUAthletics.com. The page will include video updates from the coaches and players, pictures and game highlights. Complete recaps from KU’s exhibition matches will also be posted.
KU concluded the 2012 campaign with a 10-8-2 record, ending the season with a loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks will look to use the spring schedule to improve the team which will return four of their top five scoring leaders, including forward Caroline Kastor, who led the squad with 11 goals and two assists (24 points) in her junior season. Also headlining will be forwards Ashley Williams and Courtney Dickerson, who wrapped up their freshmen campaigns combining for 12 goals and four assists.
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