No. 21 Kansas Faces Tough Tests at No. 18 UCF, No. 15 Florida

Sept. 16, 2008


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After suffering its first loss of the season Sunday, the Kansas soccer team (5-1) will travel to Florida for its final non-conference weekend of 2008. The 21st-ranked Jayhawks will take on No. 18 UCF Friday at 6 p.m. CDT, and then face No. 15 Florida at noon CDT Sunday.

Live statistical updates for both matches will be available on Gametracker. Fans can find the link for Gametracker on the Kansas Athletic department’s official website: Audio and video from the Florida-Kansas match is available for a subscription fee from the Gators’ web site:

Last Time Out

Junior Monica Dolinsky scored a goal on a penalty kick and recorded seven shots, but it was not enough. Loyola-Chicago’s Laura Trevillian’s header in the 65th minute proved to be the game-winner as the Ramblers upset the 18th-ranked Jayhawks, 2-1, at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

Scouting the Knights

UCF enters the match ranked 18th in the country in the latest Soccer America poll. The Knights (5-1-1) were shelled by in-state rival FloridaState in the season-opener, but are undefeated in their last six contests, including wins over ranked teams, Florida and Illinois.

The Knights return seven starters from last year’s team which finished 15-4-4, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This year’s Knights are led offensively by junior Becca Thomas’ three goals, and junior Yvonne George’s three assists. Seven different Knights have scored the squad’s nine goals this year. In goal, freshman Aline Reis has a 1.11 goals against average and four shutouts. Reis has made 38 saves in 46 chances.

Head Coach Amanda Cromwell is in her 10th year at UCF and has a record of 132-58-12 with the Knights, and is 152-73-13 in 11-plus seasons as a head coach.

Jayhawk-Knight Connections

– Two Knights, senior Hanna Wilde and junior Emily Maynard, played on the same Regional ODP team as KU’s Jessica Bush,Monica Dolinsky andJulie Hanley.

Scouting the Gators

Florida’s matchup with the Jayhawks on Sunday will be UF’s third-straight against a Top 25 opponent. The Gators defeated then-No. 17 Illinois last weekend, and will travel to No. 5 Portland on Friday before facing Kansas. UF has bounced back from an early-season loss to UCF by outscoring its last three opponents by a 9-1 count.

The Gators advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament last year, and return five starters from that team. Freshman midfielder Tahnai Annis leads the team with four goals, while senior Megan Kerns has three goals and an assist. Senior Ameera Abdullah has added a team-high three assists. Two keepers, sophomores Katie Fraine and Meghan Berlingo, have split time in net this year. The pair has combined for a 0.64 goals against average and two shutouts. The Florida keepers have made 21 saves in 25 chances.

Head coach Becky Burleigh is in her 14th season at Florida and is 233-61-21. She is 315-84-27 all-time as a head coach, which includes five years at Barry (Ga.) College.

Jayhawk-Gator Connections

– Florida senior Megan Kerns played on the same ODP Regional team as KU’s Jessica Bush, Monica Dolinsky and Julie Hanley.

– Florida’s Lauren Hyde and Dolinsky both grew up in Carmel, Ind., and played on the same club team – Carmel Cyclones.

– Florida freshman Tahnai Annis and KU first-year player Jordyn Perdue both attended PickeringtonNorthHigh School, and played on the Ohio Region II team together.

A Little Bit of Monica

Junior Monica Dolinsky has been a big part of KU’s offensive success this season. The third-year midfielder has tallied at least one point in each of the Jayhawks’ last five matches, including a goal and an assist last Friday at MissouriState. Dolinsky has benefitted from the attention teams have paid to freshmen Kortney Clifton and Emily Cressy, vaulting into the team lead with 10 points (four goals and two assists).

With injuries to several key players last year, Dolinsky struggled early in the season, collecting just one assist in the first 10 contests of the season. This year, she has already surpassed her point total from 2007, and is just two goals and two assists away from matching her career highs.

Offensive Threat

Sophomore defender Katie Williams scored her first goal of the season in last Friday’s 4-1 win over MissouriState. It was Williams’ fourth career goal – and fourth in her last eight matches.

Just like her previous scoring plays, Williams seemed to be in the right place at the right time during a set play. She fired home a shot in from 15 yards out off a Sara Rogerscross, following a Kansas corner kick.

Williams’ four career goals through the first 26 contests of her collegiate career is the best by a defender since Maggie Mason scored four goals in her first 22 matches (2000-01).

Action Jackson

Another sophomore defender got into the scoring act on Sept. 12 at MissouriState. Lauren Jacksontallied her first collegiate goal in the opening minutes of the 4-1 Jayhawk win. Jackson, a sophomore defender from Long Beach, Calif., took advantage of a defensive lapse and fired home a shot from the far sideline in the sixth minute of play.

Jackson has also been a dual threat for the Jayhawks this season, posting a goal and an assist in six matches. Her and Katie Williamsbecame the first defensive tandem to record goals in the same match since Maggie Mason and Holly Gault did at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 21, 2003.

Quick Kicks

– Kansas faces UCF for the fourth time in school history and Florida for the first time. History is on the team’s side this weekend, as KU is 3-0 against the Knights all-time and 7-4 against current Conference USA members. The Jayhawks are also 7-0-1 against SEC members since the 2002 season, including a 2-1 victory over Auburn earlier this year.

– The Jayhawks snapped their six-match home winning streak with the loss to Loyola on Sept. 14. However, KU is undefeated in its last six matches on the road, going 5-0-1 during that time.

– Junior forward Shannon McCabe also found the back of the net for the first time this year. McCabe has been a more dangerous scorer on the road throughout her career, tallying just one of her six career goals at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

– Senior Sara Rogers collected her first assist since her freshman year Sept. 12 at MissouriState. Rogers crossed a ball to Katie Williams in the 28th minute to give KU a 3-0 lead. The senior now has four goals and two assists in a Jayhawk uniform.

– Junior Monica Dolinsky burried a penalty kick in the 2-1 loss to Loyola on Sept. 14. Dolinsky is the first Jayhawk to score on two PKs in the same season since Caroline Smith went 2-for-2 during the 2004 season.

– Dolinsky’s seven shot attempts in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Loyola were the most by a Jayhawk in a single match since Caroline Smith took a team record 12 shots against Missouri in 2005.

– Senior goalkeeper Stephanie Baugh made her first career save at MissouriState on Sept. 12. Baugh has played 18 minutes between the pipes this season for the Jayhawks.

Up Next
Kansas will open up the Big 12 portion of its schedule next weekend when it travels to Nebraska, Friday, Sept. 26 at 4:30 p.m., and Iowa State, Sunday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. This marks the third straight season that the Jayhawks have opened conference play on the road.