Three Different Jayhawks Score as Kansas Tops Arkansas 4-1

Coach Francis Postgame Interview

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Freshman Jamie Fletcher collected two goals while senior Kortney Clifton and sophomore Amy Grow also found the back of the net to lift the University of Kansas soccer team to a 4-1 victory over Arkansas Sunday afternoon at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

With the win, KU evened its record to 1-1 overall after falling to Tennessee Friday night in its season opener. UA also moved to 1-1 with the loss.

Facing a 1-1 tie after the first half, Fletcher tallied her second-straight goal of the match and third of the season shortly after halftime during the 47th minute of play. Sophomore Caroline Kastor deflected a ball in front of the goal where Fletcher was able to get a foot on it and score to give the Jayhawks a 2-1 edge.

Twenty minutes later the Jayhawks capitalized on another opportunity. Junior Whitney Berry used a corner kick to pass the ball to Grow, who was waiting just outside the box on the left side of the field. Grow made a quick move around her defender and then buried a shot in the opposite corner of the net from 23 yards out.

Grow then aided on KU’s fourth and final goal as she recorded the first multi-point game of her career. With the ball in the middle of the field, the midfielder found Clifton at the left corner of the box. After collected the ball, Clifton fired from 14 yards out and found the back of the net to give the Jayhawks a 4-1 lead in the 77th minute.

Redshirt freshman Kaitlyn Stroud played all 90 minutes at goalkeeper for Kansas to earn the win in her first career start. The Razorbacks took 17 shots, including seven on frame, but Stroud was there to save six, letting Arkansas’ lone goal by 16 minutes into the game. UA’s Tyler Allen sent a corner kick into the box where Sam Wolf was able to get a head on the ball for her first goal of the season.

Kansas responded in the 20th minute on a similar situation in which Berry’s corner kick bounced around in front of the goal before Kastor deflected it to Fletcher, who caught a piece of the ball and sent into the net. Fletcher and Berry led KU with six shots a piece, while Grow chipped in with four. For the game, the Jayhawks out-shot Arkansas 29-17.

KU will get its first road test of the season as it travels to the west coast for the USD Tournament this weekend, Aug. 26-28. The Jayhawks open the tournament versus USC Friday night at 7 p.m. CST and will conclude the weekend with a match versus host San Diego on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CST.

Postgame Quotes
Kansas 4, Arkansas 1
August 21, 2011

Kansas head coach Mark Francis
“I thought today for the whole 90 minutes we did what we talked about doing, the game plan. We didn’t really shy away from that. I was proud of them today. We just kept battling and going at them. We didn’t really let them back in the game. Those guys are a good team so for us to beat them 4-1 I think was a great result. I was a little bit disappointed in (Arkansas’) goal. We let their kid get a free header on that set piece. That’s something we focused on last time, being more disciplined with our marking on set pieces. We still have some work to do there. I think defensively we looked better today than we did Friday, so we’re definitely making some progress.”

On freshman Jamie Fletcher:
“She played great today and great Friday. She was a little quiet last week on Sunday. We talked to her about being more aggressive in the box, taking more chances because she’s a great finisher as you saw today. She’s going to be a dangerous player for us. And I love the way she battles, too. She’s not just a goal scorer, she fights and scraps as well which is huge.”

On midfielder Amy Grow:
“Amy played excellent today. We do a thing at the end of every game where we give one kid a heart and soul award and we gave it to Amy today. Defensively she won balls, won balls in the air. And then she was consistent when she had the ball, distributing. She did a great job.”

Freshman Forward Jamie Fletcher on the team scoring four goals today:
“We weren’t unlucky. We were possessing the ball so well that goals came easy today.”

On how she is consistently in the right position to score goals:
“I asked myself that question, too. Today I was just in the right place at the right time. Everyone else did all the work, and I was there.”

On how much confidence she can gain from scoring three goals in two games:
“A lot. After Friday my confidence went up a lot because of my first goal. After today and two more goals, I’m just happy.”

On what the team can work on before its trip to San Diego:
“Keep possessing the ball because it’s so important to keep the ball. Then we don’t have to run around as much. That tires everyone out.”

On being more aggressive in the last two games:
“I didn’t take a shot in the exhibition game, so my goal was to shoot because that leads to goals. It’s not an easy thing to do. You have to change your whole mindset. I kept passing the ball too much. Coach Francis told me to be greedy, which I think is hard to do, but I tried and I guess it worked.”