Kansas Battles Michigan To 1-1 Draw

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas opened the 2005 soccer season with a 1-1 tie against Michigan on Friday in Topeka, Kan. The Jayhawks accounted for 35 shots, 15 on goal but only Caroline Smith’s second half shot found the back of the net.

“We had many good opportunities to score,” commented Head Coach Mark Francis. “We didn’t capitalize on those so we ended up with a tie. Overall a good performance for this early in the year.”

Despite out-shooting the Wolverines, 11-2, in the first half of play, Michigan went into halftime with a one goal lead. The Wolverine’s Melissa Dobbyn beat KU goalkeeper, Colleen Quinn to her near side with a shot in the 19th minute of action. Quinn, a sophomore from Fort Collins, Colo., was making her first career start.

Trailing, 1-0, Caroline Smith took the ball outside the box and beat a UM defender as she entered the penalty area. The senior’s shot from 10-yards out beat Michigan’s goalkeeper Megan Tuura to the far side, evening the match at 1-1. The goal for Smith was the 43rd of her career.

KU continued to put pressure on the Wolverines in the remaining minutes of the second half. Freshman Jessica Bush had two opportunities inside the 8 only to have one shot blocked and the other saved.

After a quite first overtime, both teams created opportunities to end the game in the second session of extra time. Two minutes in, Caroline Smith looked to end the game with a header only to have Tuura make a game-saving stop.

After a shot by Jessica Smith sailed high and a Holly Gault header was saved, MU’s Therese Heaton’s shot hit the post, keeping the game tied. KU had one final attempt to win the game on an in-direct kick inside the 20-yard box. Bush’s last second shot got around the Michigan wall only to carry wide of the net.

Quinn was one of four Jayhawks to see action in all 110-minutes of the match as she made four saves including three in the second half. Kansas had six corner kicks to Michigan’s five.

“Overall some good performances definitely an improvement from the last game so that’s a positive,” said Francis. “Now we have to regroup and get ready for a very good opponent in Wisconsin on Sunday.”

KU will return to Topeka, Kan., to face Wisconsin on Sunday. Kick off is set for 2 p.m. at the Hummer Sports Park. The Wisconsin match was also originally scheduled to be played in Lawrence, but the threat of inclement weather has moved the match to Topeka.

For more post-match comments from Mark Francis, call the Kansas Soccer Hotline at (785) 864-7700.