Kansas Soccer Returns Home for UW-Milwaukee, Missouri State

Sept. 15, 2010


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Kicking Off

The Jayhawks will play in their home confines of the Jayhawk Soccer Complex for the first time in three weeks, when Wisconsin-Milwaukee and local foe Missouri State pay Kansas soccer a visit this weekend. The weekend will start off with the Panthers Friday afternoon, at 5 p.m. The Bears will then travel to Lawrence Sunday, at 1 p.m.

Breaking Even

KU ventured out west to the desert for the final two matches of its five-match road stretch last weekend, participating in the UNLV Rebel Classic. Going 1-1 in the event, KU opened the weekend with a tough, double-overtime loss to Cal State Northridge before rebounding with a 1-0 win over Oregon.

Friday against the Matadors, Kansas was out-shot but the defense blanked CS Northridge for more than 100 minutes. The Jayhawks looked to be heading into overtime again Sunday morning, at Las Vegas’ Peter Johann Memorial Field, until Emily Cressy found the net with just five minutes left in regulation.

Goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau was the star of the weekend, as she allowed just one goal and tallied 17 saves in two games. Liebetrau’s performance earned her a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award.

Scouting the Panthers

UW-Milwaukee (2-3-2) has been tested this season with a tough schedule. The Panthers have managed to receive votes in the NSCAA Coaches Poll nearly all season after wins against Ohio State (receiving votes) in Columbus, Ohio, and Michigan State (receiving votes) at home. However, Milwaukee was shutout 3-0 at No. 4 Notre Dame. Keara Thompson went on a tear, racking up three goals in three straight games to the lead the Panthers. Thompson’s three-game streak was an efficient effort, as the midfielder found the net three times in six on-goal attempts. Thompson’s performance echoes that of the Panther offense, as Milwaukee has scored eight goals in 84 shots, despite being outshot 104-84.

Scouting the Bears

Missouri State (4-3) brings a balanced offense. With a combined total of 103 shots taken this season, no player has more than 15. Brooke Williams and Tiffany Laughlin each have scored three goals to lead the Bears, while Rachel Weimer and Tara Bailes also have a pair each to their credit. While Missouri State’s most notable win was a 3-2 victory over Oklahoma at home last Friday, the Bears went on a tear with three straight shutouts over Arkansas-Little Rock, Tennessee-Martin and Oral Roberts early in the season. The team has yet to be shut out, with all three losses coming via a 2-1 score. Goalkeeper Jessica Teahan, a high school teammate of KU players Erin Ellefson and Geneva Magness, has allowed eight goals this season for a goals against average mark of 1.18, collected 29 saves and was credited with all three of MSU’s shutouts.

Saved by Liebetrau

Goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the week Tuesday, after a stellar weekend in between the pipes in UNLV’s Rebel Classic, allowing a single goal and registering 17 saves. The redshirt-sophomore recorded her second shutout of the season and made 11 saves Sunday, in KU’s 1-0 win over Oregon. With 40 saves, Liebetrau now leads the Big 12 and her 6.67 saves per game is second. In the first week of the season, Liebetrau set a new career-high when she recorded 15 saves at Georgia. Her total against the Bulldogs was the fourth-highest total recorded in Division I this season.

Climbing the Ranks

Emily Cressy’s game-winning goal against Oregon was the 10th of her career, which puts her in a tie for second all-time. The junior forward now has 22 career goals and needs just two to surpass Monica Dolinky’s mark for third.

On the Radar

Whitney Berry was recently named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s list of the top 20 players in the Big 12. The All-Big 12 selection was named the 15th-best player to watch this season in the conference. The Wichita native had a strong freshman campaign scoring six goals and assisting in nine. Berry was third on the team with 21 points.

KU Picked Eighth

The Jayhawks were picked to finish in eighth place in the Big 12 in the preseason coaches’ poll. Texas A&M was picked as the preseason favorite, receiving 95 points and eight first-place votes. Last season, the Jayhawks went 12-8-2 overall and 4-6 in Big 12 play to tie for seventh. Oklahoma State, the defending conference champs, was picked to finish fourth.