Jayhawks Open Season With No. 20 Purdue

Aug. 20, 2008


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The Kansas soccer team will open the 2008 regular season with a non-conference match against 20th-ranked Purdue University (0-0) at 5 p.m., Friday, at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The contest will feature free hot dogs to the first 200 students in attendance.

Statistical updates from the match will be available via Gametracker, which is produced by CBS College Sports. The link for Gametracker is available on the kuathletics.com website.

Kickoff 2008
For just the second time in the last five seasons, Kansas will open the regular season at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. KU defeated Furman, 3-0, on Aug. 25, 2006, in the team’s last season-opening contest played at home.

KU is 6-5-2 all-time in season openers, including 5-2-2 under Head Coach Mark Francis. The match against Purdue marks the first time in three years that KU has started the season against an opponent from the Big Ten Conference. On Aug. 26, 2005, the Jayhawks played to a 1-1 tie with Michigan on a neutral field. The Jayhawks’ last home opener against a Big Ten opponent was a 4-1 triumph over Northwestern on Aug. 29, 2003.

Last Time Out
Freshman Emily Cressy scored a pair of goals while senior Jessica Bush recorded second half tally as the Kansas soccer team kicked off the 2008 season with a 3-0 exhibition victory over Drake Saturday at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

Kansas scored early in the first half, and controlled the pace of play for much of the afternoon. The three goals matched the most KU scored in a home game all of last season. The Jayhawks held a 14-5 edge in shot attempts and a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Scouting The Boilermakers
Purdue enters the 2008 season with high hopes, being ranked 20th in the preseason Soccer Times poll. The Boilermakers were also selected to finish third in the Big Ten in a pre-season poll.

Purdue returns four starters and 11 letterwinners overall from last year’s squad, which finished 20-2-3 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Junior forward Loredana Riverso led the team in scoring last season with 13 goals and eight assists, while junior goalkeeper Jenny Bradfisch posted an 0.49 goals against average in 24 starts in net.

Head Coach Rob Klatte is in his 11th year at Purdue and has a record of 116-73-19 with the team, and 172-118-25 in 15 seasons as a head coach at the Division I level.

Jayhawks-Boilermakers Connections
– Assistant coaches Antoinette Marjanovic (Kansas) and Erin Otagaki-VanPaemel (Purdue) both played collegiately in the Pac-10. Marjanovic played at Arizona State from 1998-2001, while Otagaki-VanPaemel was at Washington during the same time.

– Jayhawks’ midfielder Monica Dolinsky and Purdue goalkeeper Jenny Bradfisch and midfielder Alexis Tryba all graduated from Carmel (Ind.) High School.

– Kansas midfielder Jordyn Perdue and Boilermaker goalkeeper Yana Lyon were teammates on the Ohio Premier club team, which advanced to the State Cup finals this summer. The two club teammates also played in the same Ohio High School district, with Perdue playing at Pickerington North and Lyon at Olentangy Liberty.

– Kansas goalkeeper Julie Hanley and Purdue midfielder Alex Jenkins both played for the Dynamo F.C. club program in Indianapolis. However, they were never teammates.

Bush Moving Up in the Record Books
Kansas midfielder Jessica Bush is closing in on school records in several offensive categories. The 5-foot-2 senior ranks eighth in career points (42), eighth in career goals (13), fourth in game-winning goals (seven), eighth in assists (14), seventh in shots (106) and sixth in shots on goal (55).

Bush played the role of a playmaker last season, assisting on six of KU’s goals last season. With a solid season, Bush could move into the top five in all six categories.

Home Cookin’
The Jayhawks have been extremely successful throughout the years at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex, especially during Mark Francis’ tenure. KU is 64-37-5 at home all-time, including 52-21-5 under Francis. KU has just three seasons where it has a sub-.500 record at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

Dynamite Debut
Kansas redshirt freshman Emily Cressy scored a pair of goals Saturday against Drake in her first match in a Jayhawk uniform. Cressy, who did not play at all last season, found the back of the net on her first shot against Drake in the 11th minute.

The sight of the 5-foot-5 forward celebrating a goal might become a familiar one to Jayhawk fans. Prior to her arrival at KU, Cressy led her Cal-South State Eagles club team to a USYS National Championship in the U-17 Division in 2007. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the national tournament.

New Faces
Kansas added nine players in the offseason, including seven freshmen to a talented roster. KU’s newcomers hail from six different states, including four from the state of Kansas: Kelsey Clifton, Kortney Clifton, Sierra Miramontez and Caitlin Noble. Other newcomers include: Jeannette Francia (California), Kat Liebetrau (Colorado), Sarah Salazar (Oklahoma), Jordyn Perdue (Ohio) and Alex Winchester (Texas).

Quick Kicks
– Kansas faces No. 24 Purdue Friday in the first meeting between the schools since 2005.

– Six current Jayhawks and one Boilermaker played in that contest. Seniors Jessica Bush and Missy Geha as well as juniors Julie Hanley and Jenny Murtaugh all started in the Sept. 18, 2005 match, while seniors Kristin Graves and Sara Rogers both came off the bench.

– Redshirt juniors Julie Hanley and Jenny Murtaugh will likely see their first action since early in the 2007 season. Murtaugh was injured on Sept. 6, 2007 and missed KU’s final 18 contests of the year, while Hanley played in just one match last season, Sept. 21 against Illionis.

– Kansas played in an extraordinary number of overtime contests last season, as six of the team’s 21 matches went past the 90th minute. The Jayhawks earned an overtime win, 1-0, over Missouri State on Sept. 18. The six overtimes played were the most ever by a KU squad in a single-season.

– Success in the opening match of the season has been a good indicator to where KU’s season will end up. In all three seasons that the team qualified for the NCAA Tournament (2001, 2003 and 2004) the Jayhawks were victorious in their first contest of the season. In the Francis era, KU has had a losing record three times and dropped their opening match in two of those seasons (1999 and 2007).

– The Jayhawks enter the 2008 season with one of the more difficult schedules in the country. Of the team’s 20 scheduled opponents, 11 qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year, while six of them were ranked in the NSCAA’s final Top 25. Only five of KU’s 2008 opponents finished with a losing record last season: Missouri State, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Baylor.

Sister Act
Kansas freshmen Kortney and Kelsey Clifton are identical twin sisters, who are both looking to make an impact with the squad this season. However, they are the second set of sisters to play soccer for the Jayhawks. Senior Missy Geha‘s (2005-present) older sister Amy Geha played at KU from 2001-04. Both Geha sisters have worn the uniform No. 16.

To Brazil and Back
Last May, the Kansas soccer team embarked on a nine-day tour of Brazil. The Jayhawks spent just over a week enjoying the fun and sun, and also played four exhibition matches against Brazilian club teams, winning two. According to Head Coach Mark Francis, the trip brought the Jayhawks closer together and should positively impact their 2008 campaign.

Miller Elevated to Associate Head Coach
Veteran assistant coach Kelly Miller had his title changed to Associate Head Coach of the Kansas soccer program last March. Miller has worked with the Jayhawks for the past nine seasons, first as a volunteer assistant before assuming a full-time assistant coaching job on Francis’ staff prior to the 2000 season. He has primarily worked with the goalkeepers, helping the development of First Team All-American Meghan Miller as well as Colleen Quinn and Julie Hanley in recent years.

Marjanovic Named Jayhawk Assistant Coach
Former Nevada assistant coach Antoinette Marjanovic was named an assistant soccer coach at KU in February. Marjanovic (pronounced: Mar-YAHN-oh-vich) spent last season as the interim head coach at the University of Nevada-Reno, taking over the program in August, 2007. She spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach with the Wolfpack.

Up Next
After facing 20th-ranked Purdue in the first contest of the season, the road doesn’t get much easier as the Jayhawks play host to SEC power Auburn on Aug. 31 at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Kansas will meet the Tigers at 1 p.m., in a match that features reduced admission to anyone who shows up with a KU-FIU football ticket stub from the previous day.