Jayhawks Take Season Opener from UCSB, 2-1 in OT

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas freshman Ashley Williams picked a great time for her first career goal. The first-year forward tallied the golden goal in the 97th minute Friday evening to lead the Jayhawks passed the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, 2-1 in overtime at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

Kansas takes its season opener to move to 1-0, while the Gauchos slide to 0-1 to start the year.

In her career debut with the Jayhawks, the Albuquerque, N.M., native Williams came up huge, slamming home a rebound off a bad-angle shot by sophomore Haley Yearout in the seventh minute of overtime. The sudden death goal gave the Jayhawks their fourth season-opening victory in the last five seasons. It also marked the second-straight year KU opened its season with an overtime match.

After a scoreless first half, Kansas got on the board in the 52nd minute when junior Caroline Kastor blasting home a shot from 16 yards out after a through ball from Jamie Fletcher. Kastor was third on the team last season with six goals and 19 points.

UCSB knotted the score 13 minutes later when midfielder Miranda Cornejo slipped a ball past KU goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau with a header after a free kick from near midfield.

KU had several chances to win in regulation but couldn’t capitalize on its opportunities. In the first 10 minutes of the match both Fletcher and senior Whitney Berry hit the cross bar with shots, while Williams drew woodwork in the 81st minute.

The Jayhawks appeared to take the lead in the final 10 minutes when Williams finished a loose ball in the box but was whistled for offsides.

KU also had trouble solving UCSB junior goalkeeper Makenna Henry, who made eight saves in the match.

The Jayhawks dominated the offensive game, notching 19 shots and putting 10 of them on goal. USCB countered with six shots but several coming in the tense late minutes of the match. Berry led all players with five shots with one on net.

Kansas now has a quick turnaround as it will meet Northwestern on Sunday at 1 p.m., at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Fans that can’t make it to the pitch can view the match free of charge on AT&T Jayhawk All-
Access or follow on twitter at KU_Soccer.