Jayhawks Host SMU Sunday

Sept. 8, 2007

The <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas soccer team will look to get into the win column today when it plays host to non-conference foe SMU at 1 p.m. at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

About the Jayhawks

Kansas fell in overtime to 19th-ranked BYU on Thursday evening. It marked KU’s second straight overtime contest, after tying with Auburn on Sept. 1. KU opened the season ranked 26th in the Soccer Buzz national poll, but fell out of the top 30 on Tuesday. Kansas returns 18 letterwinners from last year’s squad, which finished 11-7-1.

Scouting the Ponies

SMU is also coming off a win in its season opener, taking down UT-San Antonio 2-1 on Aug. 31. The Ponies are ranked eighth in the Soccer Buzz Central Region poll. The Ponies were scheduled to play Saint Louis on Friday evening, but due to lightning in the St. Louis metro area, the match had to be postponed in the first half.

Senior Kimber Bailey led the Ponies’ offense in the first match, scoring the first goal and collecting an assist on the team’s game-winner. Senior Allison Brill scored SMU’s second goal in the 65th minute. Bailey and sophomore Kim Peabody led the team with six shots. Junior goalkeeper Ashley Gunter made a pair of saves to earn the victory in net.

SMU’s Brett Erwin is in his first season as a collegiate head coach. Erwin previously held assistant coaching positions with the SMU and UCF men’s teams. The first-year head coach inherited a team that returns eight starters and 17 letterwinners from last year’s squad, which finished 17-5-1 and won the Conference USA title. This will be the first meeting between the schools on the soccer pitch.

The Series with SMU

This will be KU’s first meeting with SMU on the soccer pitch. The Jayhawks are 5-3 all-time against schools from Conference USA. Kansas head coach Mark Francis also earned his bachelor’s degree from SMU in 1987. Francis was a three-time All-American for the Mustangs and earned SMU’s Male Athlete of the Year award in 1987.

Kansas at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex

Through the years, the Jayhawk Soccer Complex (formerly known as Super Target Field) has been unfriendly confines to visiting teams. Kansas has posted an all-time record of 59-33-5 (.639), including a 38-13-3 (.784) mark since 2001. KU’s best season at home came in 2005, when the team posted an 8-1 mark, with the only loss coming to 14th-ranked Texas A&M. This season, the Jayhawks will host 10 regular season matches at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

Looking Ahead

After hosting non-conference foes Brigham Young and SMU this weekend, Kansas will travel to Portland, Ore. to participate in the Portland Invitational Sept. 14-16. The Jayhawks will face top-ranked Portland at 9 p.m. CST on Sept. 14, and Washington at 1 p.m. CST on Sept. 16. KU’s contest with the Huskies will be carried live on CSTV’s XXL internet broadcast.