Jayhawks Open Regular Season with UCSB, Northwestern
Aug. 15, 2012
Kansas soccer will open the 2012 regular season with a pair of non-conference matches at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex this weekend. KU will take on UC Santa Barbara at 5 p.m., Friday afternoon before facing Northwestern on Sunday at 1 p.m.
On the Air
All 15 Kansas soccer home matches will be broadcast live, free of charge on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. Fans can tune in and listen to play-by-play with KU graduate student Pete Knutson calling the action. Fans can also follow live updates on GameTracker at KUAthletics.com.
Friday’s match will mark the first meeting on the soccer field between the Jayhawks and UC Santa Barbara. KU is 3-1 all-time against members of the Big West Conference, most recently defeating Long Beach State in 2009. Kansas leads the all-time series with Northwestern, 3-0, with two wins in Evanston, Ill. Most recently, the Jayhawks knocked off the then-No. 14 Wildcats, 2-1, on Sept. 3, 2010.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas enters the 2012 season with high hopes, coming off an 11-9-1 finish in 2011. The Jayhawks qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time under head coach Mark Francis last season, falling to Georgia in the opening round. KU returns 10 starters from last year’s squad, including its top six scorers, three starting defenders and its starting goalkeeper.
The Jayhawks earned a dominating 9-0 win over Eastern Illinois in their only preseason match, scoring seven times in the second half. Senior midfielder/forward Whitney Berry scored three of KU’s nine goals and also collected an assist, while junior forward Caroline Kastor tallied four assists in the match.
Scouting the Gauchos
UC Santa Barbara enters 2012 looking to improve on last season’s 7-11-2 record. The Gauchos return 14 letterwinners and six starters from last year and placed ninth in the Big West Conference. UCSB was picked to finish fifth in the league’s preseason poll.
UC Santa Barbara averaged 0.95 goals per game last season and posted 13.4 shots per contest. Senior forward Dyanne Anderson is the team’s top returning scorer after posting four goals and nine points in 2011. Senior midfielder Erin Ortega, who was one of two Gauchos to garner 2012 Preseason All-Big West honors, scored three goals and added two assists last season.
The Gaucho defense held opponents to a 1.27 goals against average in 2011 and allowed 11.9 shots per match. Preseason All-Big West goalkeeper Makenna Henry started 19 of UCSB’s 20 matches, posted a 1.30 goals against average and a .723 save percentage.
UCSB head coach Paul Stumpf is in his 14th season as the head coach of the UC Santa Barbara women’s soccer program. He enters the season with a record of 123-106-31, which are the most wins in program history.
Scouting the Wildcats
Northwestern opens its 2012 season in Lawrence on Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats return 20 letterwinners and eight starters from last year’s squad, which finished 2-16-1 and 1-9-1 in the Big Ten.
The Wildcats averaged 0.68 goals per match last season and posted 9.9 shots per contest. Junior forward Kate Allen led NU with five goals and 11 points a year ago, while sophomore Sami Schrakamp had a team-high three assists.
Northwestern’s defense had a 2.26 goals against average last season and allowed 15.3 shots per match. Sophomore goalkeeper Anna Cassell played in 16 contests last season, posted a 2.11 goals against average and a .667 save percentage.
Head coach Michael Moynihan is in his first season at Northwestern after spending the last 19 years at UW-Milwaukee. In his time at UW-Milwaukee, Moynihan led the Panthers to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, 13 Horizon League championships and eight conference tournament titles.
Last Time Out
Senior forward Whitney Berry scored three goals and collected an assist on KU’s first goal, while junior Caroline Kastor tallied a goal and recorded four assists as Kansas soccer rolled Eastern Illinois, 9-0, in an exhibition match Sunday at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.
One for the Record Books
KU soccer scored nine goals in its exhibition opener against Eastern Illinois, which would have been a program record had it been a regular season match. The Jayhawks scored seven of their goals in the second half, which were scored by seven different players.
Senior Whitney Berry scored three times in the match, which would have been the seventh hat trick in school history. Berry also added an assist in the match, which would have tied the school record for points in a match with seven.
Junior Caroline Kastor also would have tied a program record, collecting four assists Sunday against Eastern Illinois.
Jayhawk Picked Fourth in Preseason Poll
Kansas soccer is predicted to finish fourth in the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll, which the conference office released Aug. 10. The Jayhawks received a first-place vote in the preseason poll for the first time since the 2004 season, when KU won the regular season title.
Defending league champion Oklahoma State was picked to win the conference, receiving four first-place votes and 60 points overall, followed by West Virginia (56), Baylor (49), Kansas (44), Texas Tech (39), Texas (27), Oklahoma (25), Iowa State (13) and TCU (12). KU’s fourth-place prediction is its highest in the Big 12 preseason poll since the 2005 season.
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.
Friday’s contest could feature as many as six newcomers to the Kansas lineup, which includes senior Cassie Dickerson – a transfer from Ohio State. Dickerson, a senior defender from Kalamazoo, Mich., lettered two years for the Buckeyes and was named a NSCAA All-American in 2009, helping Ohio State to a Big Ten championship.
KU also has five true freshmen in midfielder Monica Castro, forward Courtney Dickerson, midfielder Hanna Kallmaier, defender Kaley Smith and forward Ashley Williams, who will be looking to make their debuts in the Crimson and Blue.
Kansas senior midfielder/forward Whitney Berry is looking to move up in the school’s record books this season. Berry enters the 2012 season ranked fourth in career points (59), sixth in goals (17) and second in assists (25). The senior’s 25 assists are just five shy of Monica Dolinsky’s career total of 30, which heads KU’s all-time list.
KU will host the Kansas Invitational Aug. 24-26 at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex with Georgia, South Dakota State and UNLV scheduled to participate. The Jayhawks will face the Bulldogs on Friday, Aug. 24 at 5 p.m., before finishing the weekend against UNLV Aug. 26 at 1 p.m.