Spring Soccer Continues Saturday Versus South Dakota State

March 29, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – After two weeks off from competition, the Kansas soccer team returns to the pitch for a match versus South Dakota State on Saturday, March 31. First kick from the Jayhawk Soccer Complex is slated for 11 a.m. and the game is free to the public.

KU, which defeated SDSU 2-1 during the 2011 regular season, is already 2-0 during its spring season. Four different Jayhawks collected goals in its spring opener while the defense held tough en route to KU’s 6-0 shutout of Kansas alumni on March 3.

The Jayhawks’ offense comes as no surprise with the team coming off a year in which it scored its second-most single-season goals in program history. Kansas head coach Mark Francis has been pleased with his team’s attack during the spring season.

“Our speed of play so far this spring has been pretty good,” Francis said. “We’ve created quite a few opportunities so I think offensively that’s been pretty good. We have focused a lot in the spring on the defensive stuff, giving up less goals, creating less opportunities, letting the other team get less opportunities to score.”

In the team’s most recent game, held on March 10, Kansas edged Nebraska 2-1.

“The goal against Nebraska was a little bit disappointing, just lack of tracking coming out of the midfield on the kid that scored the goal,” said 13th year head coach. “But in terms of the intensity defensively and the pressure on the ball I thought we did a really good job in that game.”

“Those are the things, the defensive part, that I think we need to keep getting better at especially in our defensive third of the field. That’s something on Saturday we’ll be looking for, to really restrict the opportunities (South Dakota State) has in the attacking third in terms or our organization in the midfield and in the back defensively.”

Overall, Francis is pleased with his team during the first couple of months of the off-season and said, “The girls have been working really, really hard. I think we’ve seen a lot of progress so far individually and also collectively. They’re doing a good job in the weight room with coach (Patricia) Dietz and I think we’ll see the benefits of that moving forward.”