Jayhawks Trying for Another Undefeated Weekend at Home
Aug. 29, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas soccer continues the non-conference portion of its schedule by hosting a pair of matches at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex Aug. 31-Sept. 2. The weekend will open Friday at 5 p.m., when Kansas takes on the Creighton Blue Jays. KU will then look to Sunday when it welcomes the Arizona State Sun Devils at 1 p.m.
Friday’s match will mark the eighth meeting on the soccer field between Kansas and Creighton. The Jayhawks hold a 5-2 advantage in the series, including a 2-1 overtime win over CU on Oct. 9 of last season. Kansas leads the all-time series with Arizona State, 1-0, with the only meeting coming on Aug. 30, 2009 in Knoxville, Tenn., a 1-0 Jayhawk victory.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas claimed its first undefeated weekend of the year last weekend during the KU Invitational. On Friday, the Jayhawks took down No. 24 Georgia. Junior forward Caroline Kastor found the back of the net in the 22nd minute, while senior goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau and the Jayhawk defense earned their first shutout of the year. Two days later KU again used its stout defense to beat UNLV, 3-0. Senior Whitney Berry recorded a goal and two assists while Liebetrau earned her second-consecutive shutout.
KU has had five different goal scorers with Kastor and freshman Ashley Williams earning two a piece through the first four matches. Sophomore Jamie Fletcher leads the squad in shots with 16. As a team the Jayhawks have averaged 18.2 shots per match.
Scouting the Blue Jays
Creighton is coming off its first win of the season as it defeated South Dakota 3-1 Tuesday evening. CU started the season with back-to-back overtime matches, the first a 1-0 loss to Iowa State and the second a 1-1 tie with Utah State. The Blue Jays traveled to No. 4 Oklahoma State Sunday and picked up thier second loss to the Cowgirls, a 4-1 loss.
In their first four matches the Blue Jays averaged 1.25 goals per game and posted 13.8 shots per contest. CU has had five different point scorers in their opening four matches, and are led by senior midfielder Sarah Kendall, who has two goals. The Blue Jays have amassed 55 shots so far this season with 45.5 percent of those on goal.
The Blue Jay defense held its opponents to a 1.75 goal average in its first two weeks of the 2012 campaign and allowed 20 shots per match. CU’s senior goalkeeper Katie Jo Swanson has started all four of the Bulldogs’ opening matches, posting a 1.65 goals against average and a .781 save percentage.
Bruce Erickson is in his 14th season as the head coach of the Creighton women’s soccer program. He enters the season with an overall coaching record of 212-161-33, and a record of 142-100-27 while at CU.
Scouting the Sun Devils
Arizona State is 1-2 through the first two weeks of the 2012 season and will play at Missouri Friday before facing the Jayhawks Sunday. The Sun Devils opened the year with back-to-back losses to Cal State Northridge and San Diego State in their opening weekend but bounced back last Friday with a 4-0 shutout of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Ariz.
The Sun Devils are averaging 1.33 goals per match this year and have posted 19.3 shots per game in their first three contests. Forwards Devin Marshall and Cali Farquharson lead ASU with two goals and four points apiece while seniors Courtney Tinnin and Taylor McCarter each have one assist on the year
The Arizona State defense has a 1.0 goals against average this season and has allowed 10.7 shots per match. Freshman goalkeeper Chandler Morris has played each minute of the Sun Devils’ three contests, posting a .700 save percentage.
Head coach Kevin Boys is in his sixth season at ASU and has guided the Sun Devils to two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances over the past two seasons. In his first six years in Tempe he has amassed a record of 45-45-12 and has a 168-106-32 in 15 seasons of coaching. Before arriving at Arizona State, Boys coached eight seasons at California.
Last Time Out
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 in the final game of the Kansas Invitaional last Sunday in Lawrence.
Spreading the Wealth
Through four matches, five different Jayhawks have scored a goal this season. Junior Caroline Kastor and freshman Ashley Williams have each notched two goals while senior Whitney Berry, sophomore Jamie Fletcher and freshman Courtney Dickerson have each collected one, with the latter three all coming last Sunday against UNLV.
Having a multi-faceted offense has been a key to success for many of Coach Francis’ teams at KU. Last season, when the team qualified for the NCAA Tournament, nine different players recorded goals, while a total of 12 had at least one goal or one assist.
Francis Nearing Milestone
Jayhawk head coach Mark Francis has accumulated 149 victories while at Kansas after defeating UNLV Sunday. The 14th year head coach needs only one more win to get to the 150-win milestone.
Francis’ mark ranks second among active Big 12 coaches, only behind West Virginia’s Nikki Izzo-Brown’s 226 wins while in Morgantown. Francis has a career record of 149-110-18 while at Kansas and has amassed a career coaching record of 182-135-19 in just over 16 seasons.
A Shut Out to You
Last weekend the Jayhawks record two-straight shutout wins over Georgia and UNLV. This marked the first time KU has blanked back-to-back opponents since the Jayhawks shut out San Diego and South Dakota State on Sept. 18-20, 2009, which also happened to be at a Kansas Invitational tournament
The two shutouts also gave senior goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau her ninth and 10th career shutouts, which moved her to third on the all-time school saves list, passing Colleen Quinn, who had nine shutouts from 2004-07.
Ranked OpponentsWith the Jayhawks’ victory last Friday over the 24th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, it marked the first KU victory over a ranked opponent since defeating then-No. 20 San Diego 2-1 Aug. 28 of last season. The win was the Jayhawks’ first home victory against a top-25 team since Oct. 30 2009, when KU defeated then-No. 20 Missouri 2-1. It was also the first shutout against a ranked opponent since blanking then-No. 18 San Diego on Sept. 18, 2009.
Dating back to the 2008 season, KU is 9-12-1 against top-25 opponents, with wins over ranked schools from the Big 12, Big Ten, Big West, Conference USA and the SEC.
Kansas senior midfielder/forward Whitney Berry moved up in the school’s record books this past weekend with her goal and two assists against UNLV. Berry now ranks fourth in career points (63), sixth in goals (18) and second in assists (27). The senior’s 27 assists are just three shy of Monica Dolinsky’s career total of 30, which heads KU’s all-time list.
Berry’s 63 career points are just five behind Rachel Gilfillan’s 68 points, which she accumulated from 2001-04. Dolinsky ranks second in school history with 76 points from 2006-09.
On the Air
Kansas will provide live video and play-by-play coverage of the Jayhawks’ weekend contests on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. The video feed will be available to All-Access subscribers only, while all fans can tune in to Pete Knutson’s audio coverage. Fans can also follow the action via GameTracker on KUAthletics.com or on Twitter at KU_Soccer.
KU returns to the pitch Sept. 7 when it takes on Missouri State at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The Jayhawks will face the Bears at 5 p.m., before finishing the weekend against North Carolina State Sept. 9 at noon.