Kansas Wins Season Opener, 2-0 at Drake

DES MOINES, Iowa – Junior Erin Ellefson and freshman Whitney Berry recorded goals, while redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau posted a shutout in her first collegiate start as Kansas held off Drake, 2-0, in the Jayhawks’ season-opener Sunday at Drake Stadium.

Kansas improves to 1-0, winning its first match of the season for the third time in the last four years. The Bulldogs fall to 1-1 after an overtime victory Friday.

The Jayhawks controlled play for much of the afternoon, holding Drake to just one shot on goal, a blast from 25 yards out midway through the second half.

Meanwhile on offense, KU tallied goals from a pair of unlikely sources.

The Jayhawks got on the board late in the first half, as Ellefson tallied her second career goal. The third-year midfielder took a long cross from fellow junior Lauren Jackson deep in the box, and after a spin move, fired a shot into the near side of the goal at 40:50.

Early in the second half, KU put the game away as Berry and senior Shannon McCabe combined for a goal. After a pass to the far side of the box by Berry, McCabe fired a shot on which was deflected by a defender. However, the ball found Berry’s foot as the freshman tapped it in at 57:04 to increase the lead to 2-0.

The was more than enough support for Liebetrau and the Kansas defense. The redshirt freshman keeper earned a shutout in her first career start, making a save on the only shot she faced. The Kansas backline held the Bulldogs to just six shots on the day, with just one of them hitting its target.

The home team was also held without a corner kick.

KU’s offense was paced by Berry’s five shots, two of which were on net. As a team, the Jayhawks outshot the Bulldogs, 17-6.

Kansas will look to keep the momentum going with a non-conference match against Pepperdine next Friday at 4:30 p.m., in Knoxville, Tenn. The contest will be part of the Lady Vol Invite.