Berry, Liebetrau Lead Jayhawk Triumph Over UNLV, 3-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Whitney Berry recorded a goal and two assists while senior goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau earned her second-consecutive shutout as Kansas soccer defeated UNLV, 3-0, Sunday afternoon at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.
Kansas collected its first undefeated weekend of 2012, improving to 3-1 on the year, while the Rebels dropped to 1-2-1.
After a relatively quiet opening three matches, Berry had a breakout performance, having a hand in each of the Jayhawks’ three goals on the afternoon. The Wichita, Kan., native opened the KU scoring in the 33rd minute of the first period, launching a bending shot from 18 yards out that snuck past the UNLV goalkeeper in the top left corner of the goal.
The score was the first of the season for Berry and the 18th of her collegiate career, while helping sophomore Jamie Fletcher collect her first assist of the season.
Only 11 minutes into the second half, Berry returned the favor to Fletcher. The senior struck a corner kick into the box that Fletcher redirected into the net with her head, beating two defenders to the ball. Fletcher’s goal was her first of the season and marked the eighth time she has found the net as a Jayhawk.
Berry again found herself on the front end of a Kansas goal late in the match. She started a break down field with a through ball to a streaking Courtney Dickerson in the 84th minute to help KU put the match away. Dickerson flicked in her first career goal, becoming the fifth different Jayhawk to score a goal this season.
Berry’s two assists gave her 27 for her career and move her within three of Monica Dolinksy (2006-09) for the all-time lead in assists at KU.
For the second-consecutive match Liebetrau was an enigma for the opposing offense, collecting four saves and earning her second shutout of the season. As a team, KU had just one shutout all of 2011.
The match marked the first time Kansas has earned back-to-back shutouts since the Jayhawks blanked San Diego and South Dakota State on Sept. 18-20, 2009.
While the Kansas defense stayed stout, it was the Jayhawk offense that dominated the match, outshooting the Rebels 23-9 with a 15-4 advantage in the second period. The Jayhawks also put nine shots on net compared to just four from the visitors from Las Vegas.
Berry led all players with six shots while her teammate, Fletcher was just behind with five.
After the completion of the match, five Jayhawks were announced to the Kansas Invitational All-Tournament team including Berry and Liebetrau who were named the offensive and defensive MVP’s, respectively. Jayhawks joining them on the all-tournament team were junior forward Caroline Kastor, junior defender Madi Hillis and Fletcher.
The Jayhawks prepare for another two-game weekend as they return to Jayhawk Soccer Complex Friday for a 5 p.m., matchup with the Creighton Blue Jays. Fans can watch and listen to Friday’s match on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access and follow on twitter at KU_Soccer.