Late Goal by Cressy Lifts KU over Oregon in Rebel Classic

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Emily Cressy clinched a win for Kansas soccer Sunday afternoon at Peter Johann Memorial Stadium when she blasted a ball right up the middle in the 85th minute to give Kansas a 1-0 win over Oregon in UNLV’s Rebel Classic.

Kansas (3-3) went 1-1 in the Las Vegas tournament, dropping their opponent to 0-2 in the event and 2-3-2 for the season.

“It was a really good win for us on the road against a good team,” said head coach Mark Francis. “This weekend we talked to them about competing and maintaining focus. Friday, I thought we competed really well but weren’t focused all 90 minutes. Today I thought we were.”

KU totaled 13 shots in the contest with Cressy leading the way for the Jayhawks. Cressy tallied six shots against the Ducks with three on goal. Whitney Berry had a trio of shots, one on goal, and assisted in Cressy’s game-winner, which was her second goal of the 2010 season. Goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau collected 11 saves while recording her second shutout of the season, including a diving stop in the goal in the final minute that saved KU’s win.

“Today, we created more scoring opportunities than we have all season,” Francis said. “The girls played really hard and I think across the board, every single person that stepped on the field did a really good job.”

Offense was sparse for both teams throughout the game but the Jayhawks mounted a furious rally in the second half. Liebetrau and the Jayhawk defense eliminated Oregon’s late threats, allowing KU to take the offensive reigns late in the second half. But the offense couldn’t capitalize on solid opportunities, resulting in several frustrating attempts.

But with just five minutes left, Berry picked up the ball at midfield and crossed it from the left to Cressy in the middle of the box. With the goalkeeper already down trying to put a stop to the ball, Cressy shot high and laced it over the Ducks’ Lindsay Parlee for the dramatic win.

The game-winner was Cressy’s 10th of her career, and it was the second time in as many weeks that the redshirt-junior forward has broken through in the final minutes of the game.

Kansas now returns home for two games, starting Friday against UW-Milwaukee, and following Sunday with local foe Missouri State.