Jayhawks Look to Extend Unbeaten Streak Versus Denver
Sept. 12, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas will have one final tune-up before heading into league play when it takes on the Denver Pioneers Friday, Sept. 14 at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m., as the Jayhawks look to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games, while the league’s reigning offensive player of the week, Caroline Kastor, tries to stay on pace for the conference lead in points and goals.
On the Air
Kansas will provide live video and play-by-play coverage of the Jayhawks’ weekend contest 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 third meeting on the soccer field between Kansas and Denver. The Jayhawks and Pioneers have split the all-time series 1-1 with the Jayhawks taking a 2-1 win in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Denver returned the favor, scoring a 1-0 regular season win over Kansas in 2009.
About the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are receiving votes in the latest National Collegiate Soccer Coaches Association poll. KU hasn’t dropped a match in over three weeks after defeating Missouri State and NC State last weekend. Junior Caroline Kastor scored four goals and added an assist on the weekend, while she and the Jayhawks extended their unbeaten streak to six matches. Kastor and freshman phenom Ashley Williams are first and second, respectively, in the Big 12 in both points and goals scored while the KU defense has held opponents to 1.00 goals per match and allowed just 9.2 shots per contest.
Kastor leads the team in both points (16) and goals (seven) this season while senior Whitney Berry and sophomore Jamie Fletcher lead the squad with four assists a piece. Kastor also leads the group in shots with 30. As a team, the Jayhawks have averaged 18.4 shots per match.
Scouting the Pioneers
Denver, like the Jayhawks, is currently boasting a six-game unbeaten streak after shutting out UC Irvine, 4-0, Sunday afternoon. DU started the season with a 1-0 loss to Colorado College, but hasn’t lost since, going 5-0-1 with three shutouts. The Pioneers have scored nine goals in the past three matches while allowing only one.
In its first seven matches Denver averaged 2.00 goals per game and posted 15.9 shots per contest. DU has ten players who have scored a goal in the opening seven matches and are led by junior forward Kristen Hamilton’s three goals. The Pioneers have amassed 111 shots so far this season with 42.3 percent of those on goal.
The Pioneer defense has held its opponents to an 0.57 goal average in the first three weeks of the 2012 campaign and allowed just 7.7 shots per match. DU’s senior goalkeeper Lara Campbell has started all of the Pioneers’ matches, posting a 0.60 goals against average and a .818 save percentage.
Jeff Hooker is in his 21st season as the head coach of the Denver women’s soccer program. He enters the season with a coaching record of 270-101-33 while at DU. The UCLA grad has produced 13 or more wins in each of the last eight seasons and coached the first Sun Belt Conference team to win four-straight SBC Tournament titles and berths in the NCAA Tournament.
Last Time Out
Junior forward Caroline Kastor picked up her second-consecutive two-goal match and helped the Kansas Jayhawks to a 3-2 victory over the North Carolina State Wolfpack Sunday afternoon. Senior Whitney Berry also found the net to pick up her third goal of the season as the Jayhawks extended their league-leading unbeaten streak to six games.
Leading the Big 12
Junior forward Caroline Kastor was named the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Week following her four goal, one assist weekend. The honor was the first in the Wichita, Kan., native’s KU career.
The Big 12 weekly award marked the fourth this season for a Jayhawk, after freshman Ashley Williams collected three over the first three weeks of the season. Kastor currently leads the Big 12 in points (16), goals (7) and game-winning goals (3). Williams is not far behind however, as she is second in the league in points (14) and goals (6).
Never Looking Back
The Jayhawks have scored the first goal in all but one of their eight matches this season, with the one match being their double overtime loss to Northwestern. In fact, in three of KU’s last four matches, it has put in goals within the first 10 minutes. KU is 6-0-1 this year when scoring first.
The score-first mentality has also helped the Jayhawks to lead for the majority of it matches this season. KU has led all but 44:21 minutes out of 759:59 total minutes played in 2012. The only matches Kansas has trailed in have been the 2-1 loss to Northwestern and the 2-2 tie to Arizona State, the only two matches KU has not won this season.
With the Jayhawks starting 6-1-1 through its first eight matches, it marks the best start for a KU team since the 2009 squad began with exact same record. The ’09 team went on to start the year 7-1-1, but finished the season at 12-8-2.
The best start in program history came in 2003 when the team began the season 9-1-0 through its first 10 matches. That team advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament and placed third in the Big 12 conference.
Four Score and Nine Years Ago
Last weekend Caroline Kastor was able to join elite company when she was able to score two or more goals in two consecutive games. Only two other Jayhawks have accomplished this feat. The first came in 1998 when Lindsay Kennedy scored two goals apiece versus Central Oklahoma and Western Illinois.
Caroline Smith put in five goals in a weekend in 2003, scoring three against Northwestern and two against Evansville.
Kansas senior midfielder/forward Whitney Berry has already moved up in the school’s record books early in the season with her three goals and four assists through eight matches. Berry now ranks third in career points (69), fifth in goals (20) and second in assists (29). The senior’s 29 assists are just one shy of Monica Dolinsky’s career total of 30, which heads KU’s all-time list.
Berry’s 69 career points are just seven behind Dolinsky’s career points, which she accumulated from 2006-09. Dolinsky ranks second in school history with 76 points.
Kastor’s Fast Scoring
In Sunday’s 3-2 victory over NC State, Caroline Kastor put in two goals just 69 seconds apart. The two scores were the second-fastest by a single KU goal scorer in the program’s history. In 2004 Caroline Smith knocked in two goals 48 seconds apart against Baylor.
The least amount of time between two Jayhawk goal scorers is only 15 seconds by Lindsey Horner and Carmel Kaplinger against Iowa State on Sept. 29, 2000.
The Jayhawks open the 2012 conference slate when they play host to No. 7 Oklahoma State Friday, Sept. 21 at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. KU will then have a week off before it takes its first road trip of the season, a 7 p.m. date on Sept. 28 with the Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas. Two days later KU will make the trip to Fort Worth, Texas to take on conference-newcomer TCU at 1 p.m.
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