No. 8 Kansas Soccer Falls to No. 11 Illinois

LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 11 Illinois used a first half goal and a stifling defense to hand No. 8 Kansas soccer its first loss of the season, Tuesday as the Fighting Illini beat the Jayhawks 1-0 at the Illinois Soccer Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

Illinois (6-1) was able to net the game’s only goal in the 26th minute of the match. Tara Hurless converted her fourth goal of the season off a rebound, following a save by Kansas goalkeeper Meghan Miller. Miller, who had a season-high eight saves in the match, was able to keep the Jayhawks in the game but the Fighting Illini defense would not allow KU’s offense to maintain pressure in the offensive zone.

Junior forward Caroline Smith was able to get off a team-high two shots in the match, but the Jayhawk’s chances were limited by Illinois, who held a 14-8 advantage in shots.

“I though that we played okay, but we just made a mental mistake and one of their girls got loose and was able to score,” said head coach Mark Francis. “It was a tough game. I thought they played really tight on defense, especially in the second half, and we were not able to get any offensive pressure. We will just have to see how we respond after this.”

Kansas soccer will host a free clinic for area children, ages kindergarten through 8th grade, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The Jayhawks are back in action on Friday, Sept. 17, as they host Mississippi at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex at 5 p.m.