25th-Ranked Jayhawks Host Auburn Sunday

Aug. 27, 2008


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The Kansas soccer team will play host to Auburn University in a non-conference match Sunday at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex at 1 p.m. Fans will be able to gain admission at a reduced price ($3) with ticket stubs from KU’s football opener Saturday against Florida International.

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 official web site of Kansas Athletics, kuathletics.com.

Last Time Out
Freshman Emily Cressy had a goal and an assist, while senior Missy Geha and junior Kim Boyer also tallied goals in an explosive second half for the Kansas soccer team. The Jayhawks scored three times in a 28-minute span to down 20th-ranked Purdue, 3-0, in the season opener for both teams Aug. 22 at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

The three Kansas goals were more than the team scored in its first seven contests combined last season. The three-goal margin of victory was also the most since a 4-1 triumph over Texas Tech Oct. 3 of last season. It was also KU’s second-straight home win over a ranked team, after downing then-No. 18 Missouri in the season finale at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex last season.

Scouting The Tigers
Auburn will make a swing through the midwest this weekend, facing Missouri Friday evening in Columbia, Mo., before taking on Kansas Sunday. The Tigers enter the weekend at 2-0 with a convincing win over Grambling State and a 1-0 triumph over UAB this past weekend. In the process of an undefeated start, Auburn has outshot its opponents by an amazing 71-15 margin.

The Tigers, which return 10 starters from last year’s squad, are led offensively by junior Stephanie Fransoso and senior Kara Kasten, who both scored a pair of goals in the 9-0 win over Grambling State. Junior Rebecca Howell is tops on the team with three assists. Senior goalkeeper Allison Whitworth was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week on the strength of two scoreless starts in net. Whitworth has not allowed a goal in over 125 minutes in net this year, making five saves.

Head Coach Karen Hoppa is in her 10th year at Auburn and has a record of 105-67-14 with the Tigers, and 169-111-23 in 14-plus seasons as a head coach.

Jayhawks Earn National Ranking
After posting a 3-0 win over then 20th-ranked Purdue on Friday, the University of Kansas soccer team found itself in the national rankings for the first time since the 2007 preseason. The Jayhawks enter the Soccer America weekly poll ranked 25th in the country and are receiving votes in both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Soccer Times polls. KU is also ranked 28th in this week’s Soccer Buzz poll.

Jayhawks-Tigers Connections
– Kansas defender Katie Williams and Auburn midfielder Carolyn Cohen both grew up in Houston and played for the same club, but didn’t play for the same team. Williams played for the Challenge ’89, while Cohen for the Challenge ’88.

Johnson, Cressy Earn Big 12 Weekly Honors
Kansas soccer players Estelle Johnson and Emily Cressy have been honored by the Big 12 Conference this week. Johnson was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week, while Cressy was tabbed the Newcomer of the Week.

Johnson, a junior defender from Fort Collins, Colo., played all 90 minutes of KU’s 3-0 victory over No. 20 Purdue and helped the Jayhawks shut out the Boilermakers on just six shots. Johnson spearheaded the defensive effort as KU blanked a ranked opponent at home for the first time since 2005.

Cressy, a redshirt freshman forward from Ventura, Calif., scored a goal and added an assist in her first collegiate match against No. 20 Purdue. She scored KU’s second goal of the game and set up the Jayhawks’ final goal in the 3-0 win. Cressy also recorded a pair of shots in the match and finished with three total points.

Offensive Outburst
After going through the first half without a goal against No. 20 Purdue on Aug. 22, the Jayhawks offense exploded for three goals in the first 26 minutes of the second half. This type of second half production is going to be a key to the team’s success this season.

Last year, the Jayhawks were outscored in the second half of games 18-11, including 8-1 in non-conference matches.

Downing Ranked Opponents
With the victory over No. 20 Purdue on Aug. 22, the Jayhawks have now defeated nationally ranked opponents in consecutive home matches. KU downed then-No. 18 Missouri in the regular season finale last year. Since 2004, Kansas has eight victories and two ties against nationally ranked opponents.

Dynamite Debut
Kansas redshirt freshman Emily Cressy scored a goal and added an assist in the Aug. 22 match against Purdue, her first regular season contest in a Jayhawk uniform. Cressy, who did not play at all last season, found the back of the net in the 66th minute. She also set up Kim Boyer’s goal in the 81st minute which put the contest away.

Cressy became the first Jayhawk to record a multiple-point contest in her first collegiate match since Monica Brothers tallied a goal and an assist in KU’s 2001 season opener against North Texas.

Back in the Saddle
Kansas redshirt junior Jenny Murtaugh returned to a familiar spot on Aug. 22 against Purdue. The 5-foot-6 defender started and played 82 minutes in her first match since suffering a season-ending injury in the third game of the 2007 season. Prior to the injury, Murtaugh had started 42 straight matches in a Jayhawk uniform, dating back to her first collegiate match in 2005.

Another Jayhawk, goalkeeper Julie Hanley,made her first start in-between the pipes since the 2006 season, and posted a shutout. Hanley made just one appearance in net last season, playing 27 minutes against Illinois on Sept. 21. Prior to that, Hanley started 29 straight matches between 2005-06. She posted the third-best season statistically by a Kansas goalkeeper during the 2006 season with an 0.98 goals against average and seven shutouts.

Quick Kicks
– Kansas faces Auburn for the second year in a row. Last year’s match on Sept. 1, was also the second contest of the year for the Jayhawks.
– Both of KU’s previous contests against Auburn have gone into double overtime. Kansas emerged victorious in a 2004 meeting, 1-0, while the teams played to a 1-1 tie last year.
– The Jayhawks have enjoyed a lot of success against Southeastern Conference opponents in the Mark Francis era. Francis is 6-0-1 against current members of the SEC since 2002, with wins over Alabama (2006), Arkansas (2002 and 2005), Auburn (2004), Mississippi (2004) and Mississippi State (2002).
– Junior goalkeeper Julie Hanleynot only recorded a shutout Aug. 22 against the Boilermakers, but also collected an assist on KU’s second goal. Hanley became the first KU goalkeeper to record an offensive point since Meghan Miller collected an assist against Evansville on Aug. 31, 2003.
– Senior Missy Geha was credited with the game-winning goal against Purdue. It marked the senior’s first goal since the 2005 season, when Geha scored a pair of goals – both of which happened to also be game-winners.
– Four Kansas freshmen: Emily Cressy, Kortney Clifton, Kelsey Clifton and Jordyn Perdue participated in their first collegiate match Aug. 22 against Purdue. Cressy and Kortney Clifton both recorded points.

Up Next
Kansas will continue its non-conference portion of the 2008 schedule with a pair of matches next weekend. The Jayhawks will host UAB on Friday, Sept. 5 at 5 p.m., before traveling to SMU for KU’s first road test of the season on Sunday, Sept. 7.