Jayhawks Continue Homestand with Missouri State, NC State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks will try for their third-consecutive undefeated weekend when local foe Missouri State and ACC squad North Carolina State pay Kansas soccer a visit this weekend at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The weekend will open with the Bears Friday at 5 p.m. KU will then look to Sunday when it welcomes the Wolfpack for a noon matchup.
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.
Friday’s match will mark the 10th meeting on the soccer field between Kansas and Missouri State. The Jayhawks hold an 8-1 advantage in the series, including a 3-1 win over MSU on Sept. 2 of last season. Kansas and North Carolina State will meet for the first time in either program’s history Sunday. KU holds a 5-1 advantage against team from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
About the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks haven’t dropped a match in nearly three weeks after allowing only two goals in their streak of four-straight undefeated matches. Last Friday, the Jayhawks took down the Creighton Bluejays. Freshman phenom Ashley Williams shot in two goals, while senior goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau and the Jayhawk defense earned their third shutout of the year. Two days later, KU held Arizona State scoreless for over 70 minutes but three goals were scored in a five-minute span which eventually resulted in a 2-2 draw with the Sun Devils. The tie was the first of the season for the Jayhawks.
Williams is the team and Big 12 leader in both points (11) and goals (five) this season. Senior Whitney Berry leads the squad in shots with 23. As a team the Jayhawks have averaged 18.8 shots per match.
Scouting the Bears
Missouri State is in middle of a four-game road swing and is coming off its third win of the year defeating Oral Roberts 3-1 Sunday afternoon. MSU started the season with a convincing 5-0 win over Arkansas-Little Rock, but has gone 2-4 since. Recently the Bears lost a 4-1 match at Indiana Aug. 26 and dropped a double overtime decision 2-1 at Tulsa Aug. 31 before defeating ORU Sept. 2.
In their first seven matches the Bears averaged 1.86 goals per game and posted 9.9 shots per contest. MSU has eight players who have scored a goal in the opening seven matches and are led by senior Michelle Sommer and junior Shelby Stewart with three goals apiece. The Bears have amassed 55 shots so far this season with 45.5 percent of those on goal.
The Bear defense held its opponents to a 1.29 goal average in the first three weeks of the 2012 campaign and allowed 15.4 shots per match. MSU’s senior goalkeeper Chelsea Voet has started all of the Bears’ opening matches, posting a 1.26 goals against average and a .763 save percentage.
Rob Brewer is in his 17th season as the head coach of the Missouri State women’s soccer program. He enters the season with a coaching record of 156-131-35 while at MSU. The Lynchburg College grad has produced 82 all-conference selections and has had only three seasons with a losing record.
Scouting the Wolfpack
North Carolin State is 4-2 through the first three weeks of the 2012 season and will play Appalachian State Friday before facing the Jayhawks Sunday. The Wolfpack started the year with back-to-back losses to Old Dominion and Cincinnati in their opening weekend but bounced back with four straight wins, most recently, back-to-back shutouts over The Citadel and Elon.
The Wolfpack are averaging two goals per match this year and have posted 17 shots per game in their first six contests. Nine different players have scored for NC State this season with freshman Shannon Colligan leading the team with three goals.
The NC State defense has a 1.0 goals against average this season and has allowed just 8.8 shots per match. Senior goalkeeper Victoria Hopkins has played all but 11 minutes of the Wolfpack’s six contests, posting a .760 save percentage.
Head coach Steve Springthorpe is in his fourth season at NCSU and has guided the Wolfpack to a 29-29-4 record including a 10-8-2 mark in 2011, the school’s best season in nine years. Springthorpe has amassed a overall head coaching record of 81-71-16 in his nine seasons at the Division I level. Before NC State he spent five seasons at Fresno State.
Last Time Out
Senior Whitney Berry netted the game-tying goal from 40 yards out in the 85th minute as Kansas and the Arizona State Sun Devils played to a 2-2 draw Sunday afternoon at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Kansas held ASU scoreless for the 80 minutes before the Sun Devils scored twice in the next four minutes. Neither team could break away in the overtime periods, handing KU their first tie of the season.
Fast Start for a Freshman
Freshman forward Ashley Williams was named the Big 12’s Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Week following her three goal, one assist weekend. The honors were the just the third time in the conference’s history a player claimed two weekly awards in one week.
The Big 12 honors marked the third this season for the Albuquerque, N.M. native who currently leads the Big 12 in points (11) and goals (5). No other Jayhawk has ever been named offensive player and newcomer of the week in the same week.
Francis Hits Milestone
After defeating Creighton last Friday, Jayhawk head coach Mark Francis has now accumulated 150 victories while at Kansas. 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 150-110-19 while at Kansas and has amassed a career coaching record of 183-135-20 in just over 16 seasons.
A Shut Out to You
With the 2-2 draw against Arizona State Sunday, the Jayhawks’ consecutive shutout streak came to an end. KU had collected shutouts against Georgia, UNLV and Creighton to earn its longest scoreless streak since 2006. Kansas didn’t allow a goal for 350 minutes, the most since the 2006 kept their opponents off the board for 376 minutes over five matches.
The three shutouts also gave senior goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau her ninth, 10th and 11th career shutouts, which moved her to third-place alone on the all-time school saves list, passing Colleen Quinn, who had nine shutouts from 2004-07.
Kansas senior midfielder/forward Whitney Berry has already moved up in the school’s record books early in the season with her with her two goals and two assists through six games. Berry now ranks fourth in career points (65), tied fifth in goals (19) 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 65 career points are just three behind Rachel Gilfillan’s career points, which she accumulated from 2001-04. Gilgillan ranks third in school history with 68 points.
Spreading the Wealth
Through six matches, five different Jayhawks have scored a goal this season. Ashley Williams leads the way with five, junior Caroline Kastor has three, senior Whitney Berry has notched two while sophomore Jamie Fletcher and freshman Courtney Dickerson have each collected one.
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.
KU returns to the pitch Sept. 14 when it takes on Denver at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The Jayhawks will face the Pioneers at 5 p.m., and will then have a week off before opening up the conference slate with No. 3 Oklahoma State at 5 p.m. on Sept. 21 in Lawrence.
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