Jayhawks Blank Arizona State, 1-0
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau made five saves, while Kansas tallied the only goal of the match on a shot that deflected off a Arizona State defender as the Jayhawks earned their third straight victory, 1-0 over the Sun Devils Sunday at Regal Soccer Stadium as part of the Lady Vol Classic.
The Jayhawks improve to 3-0, marking the second year in a row that the team has started with at least three victories to open the season. Last year, KU won its first five matches of the season. The Sun Devils fall to 2-1.
Kansas put on a defensive clinic Sunday, limiting the Sun Devils’ chances most of the afternoon, while creating just enough offense. The Jayhawks held ASU to just five shots on net, all of which were cleaned up by Liebetrau, who earned her second shutout of the season.
The Jayhawks scored the only goal of the match early in the second half. Freshman Shelby Williamson crossed a ball from the far side of the net that deflected off an Arizona State defender and into the net.
Kansas had a great opportunity to put the game away midway through the half as junior Rachel Morris made a move around her defender on the near side of the box and fired a shot that hit the crossbar. The ball ricocheted to Emily Cressy, who was standing all alone deep in the box, but her header cleared the top of the net by a foot.
The Jayhawk defense was the dominating force late in the contest as Liebetrau needed to make just one save in the final 19 minutes. KU shutout the Sun Devils two days after ASU scored three goals and fired 18 shots against No. 23 Tennessee.
Liebetrau made five saves total, including three in the second half to earn her second shutout in three matches.
KU outshot the Sun Devils 16-13 for the match, including 11-4 through the first 45 minutes. Senior Monica Dolinsky led the Kansas charge with five shots, including four on net. Junior Erin Ellefson and Morris each chipped in three shots a piece.
By virtue of its wins over Pepperdine and Arizona State this weekend, Kansas wins the Lady Vol Invite. It marks the team’s first regular season tournament title since the Jayhawks won the UAB Classic, defeating Alabama and then-No. 12 Duke in 2006.
Kansas (3-0) will look to continue its winning streak Friday when it hosts Long Beach State in the first match of the season at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.