Kansas Soccer Reports to Campus Tuesday, Will Hold First Practice Wednesday

July 31, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Led by 14th-year head coach Mark Francis and 10 returning starters, the Kansas soccer team returns to campus Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming season. The Jayhawks will hold their first practice of the fall on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the practice fields adjacent to Anschutz Pavilion.

Kansas returns 10 starters from last year’s team, which finished the season at 11-9-1 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in school history. Included in the 10 returning starters are the team’s top six scorers from a year ago.

Senior midfielder/forward Whitney Berry (eight goals, 13 assists) leads the way, while sophomore forwards Ingrid Vidal (11 goals, six assists) and Jamie Fletcher (seven goals, four assists) as well as junior forward Caroline Kastor (six goals, seven assists), sophomore midfielder Liana Salazar (five goals, one assist) and junior midfielder Amy Grow (five goals, one assist) all return to the starting lineup.

KU also brings back starting three starting defenders in senior Shelby Williamson and juniors Madi Hillis and Shannon Renner. The goalkeeping duo of sophomore Kaitlyn Stroud and senior Kat Liebetrau also returns for the Jayhawks. Last season, Stroud posted a 1.81 goals against average, making 73 saves in 13 starts.

Francis, now in his 14th season at Kansas, is the school’s all-time leader with 146 career wins with the Jayhawks. He has led the program to five NCAA Tournament appearances and its only Big 12 regular season championship in 2004.

Kansas opens the 2012 campaign on Sunday, Aug. 12 with an exhibition match against Eastern Illinois at 1 p.m. at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. KU’s first regular season contest will be on Aug. 17 when it hosts UC-Santa Barbara.