No. 23 Kansas Downs Long Beach State, 3-1 in Home Opener

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Monica Dolinsky scored her first goal of the season and added an assist, while sophomore Emily Cressy and freshman Whitney Berry also chipped in first half tallies as 23rd-ranked Kansas earned a 3-1 victory over Long Beach State Friday evening in KU’s home opener at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

The Jayhawks improve to 4-0 this season, marking the third time in team history that KU has started a season with four straight wins. LBSU drops to 1-2.

After an initial flurry in the first three minutes of action by the 49ers, Kansas dominated the first half, scoring three times and outshooting LBSU, 8-3.

Kansas got on the board in the eighth minute. After a Long Beach State foul 28 yards away from the net, Dolinsky fired a free kick to the far post to beat the goalkeeper and give the Jayhawks a 1-0 lead. It was the senior’s first goal of the season.

Nearly 20 minutes later, KU struck again as junior Caitlin Noble found Cressy with a beautiful pass into the middle of the box, where Cressy used her head to direct in her second goal of the season at 26:15.

Just before halftime, the Jayhawks built a 3-0 lead as Dolinsky sent a ball through defenders and to Berry, who outraced the LBSU defense for her second goal of the season.

The 49ers cut the lead to 3-1 on a Karina Camacho goal on a ball that was sent into the box by Chantel Hubbard in the 74th minute. However, Kansas stalled the LBSU attack.

Goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau made four saves, including three in the second half with the 49ers storming the net.

KU held a slight 13-12 edge in shots for the match, with Cressy leading the way with six, including four on net. Dolinsky chipped in with three shots.

In the two other seasons that Kansas has started out 4-0 – 2004 and 2008 – the Jayhawks qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

KU will put its perfect record on the line again Sunday when it plays host to Rhode Island at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.

Postgame Quotes
Kansas 3, Long Beach State 1
Sept. 4, 2009

Kansas Head Coach Mark Francis:
On the win over Long Beach State:
“I thought we finished the chances that we had really well. I thought in the first half, we played really well. I thought we knocked the ball around well; our three midfielders did a good job of connecting and playing quickly and moving the ball around.”

On playing with a 3-0 in the second half:
“With a 3-0 lead, no matter what you say to (the team) at the half, it’s hard to keep that going. I didn’t feel like we were as efficient with the ball (as we had been in the first half), and then the chances that they got came from us making some poor decisions. We can’t do that. When a team scores a goal against us, it’s going to have to be an unbelievable goal rather than us giving them the chance. Luckily they didn’t finish them. We just have to be a little bit smarter.”

On Emily Cressy’s aggressiveness on offense:
“She’s a good player. She’s very dangerous because she has a real sense of where to go and moving off the ball. She created a couple of chances for herself today as well as for some other people. She did very well today.”

Kansas senior forward Monica Dolinsky:
On the win over Long Beach State:
“As a team, I think we came out on fire. In the second half, we definitely needed to pick it up. We slowed down and played with a 3-0 comfortable lead. I think as a team we need to play both halves of the game.”

On her goal:
“Actually Elf (teammate Erin Ellefson) and I were joking about it, because it was ‘do you want it, do I want it.’ Finally she just said ‘hit it’ and the referee blew the whistle and I let it go.”