Jayhawks Face Missouri State to Start Busy Week

Sept. 18, 2007

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The Kansas soccer team will play its first of three matches this week on Tuesday at 5 p.m., when it plays host to Missouri State at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. KU will also face non-conference foes Illinois and California this weekend. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

About the Jayhawks
Kansas is looking to bounce back after a pair of losses at the Portland Invitational over the weekend. The Jayhawks fell to No. 4 Portland, 2-0, on Friday evening and lost to Washington, 1-0, on Sunday. Senior Colleen Quinn made 10 saves in the loss to Portland, while senior Emily Strinden led the offense with five shots, including four on goal. Kansas returns 18 letterwinners and nine starters from last year’s team, which finished 11-7-1.

Scouting the Bears

Missouri State enters the mid-week tilt with Kansas after picking up a road victory at Murray State on Sept. 12. The Bears are 4-2 with wins over Western Michigan, Southeast Missouri, Arkansas-Little Rock and Murray State.

Sophomore Jenna Laughlin leads the MSU offense with three goals this season, while senior midfielder Lauren Heck holds the team lead with two assists. In goal, junior Jackie Jasper has started all six matches and has an 0.68 goals against average and an .833 save percentage. Missouri State has outshot its first six opponents by an 82-46 margin.

Head coach Rob Brewer is in his 12th season at MSU and has a mark of 110-94-23 with the Bears and a 178-122-25 record in 16+ seasons as a collegiate head coach. Brewer’s team returns seven starters and 12 letterwinners overall from last year’s squad, which finished 10-9-1 and placed fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference. KU leads the all-time series with the Bears, 4-1. The Jayhawks claimed a 2-0 triumph in the schools’ last meeting, Sept. 31, 2005. MSU’s only win of the series came in Lawrence on Oct. 24, 1997.

Missouri State on the internet: www.missouristatebears.com

Last Time Out

McKenna Waitley’s header late in the first half lifted Washington to a 1-0 triumph over Kansas in a non-conference soccer match played Sunday at Merlo Field as part of the Portland Invitational.

Four Jayhawks, Kim Boyer, Nicole Cauzillo, Monica Dolinsky and Emily Strinden each had two shots. Strinden put both of her shots on net. KU goalkeeper Colleen Quinn made three saves in the defeat.

Saving Her Best

Senior goalkeeper Colleen Quinn made 10 saves in Friday’s loss to No. 4 Portland. Through the first six matches of the 2007 season, Quinn is on pace to become the first goalkeeper since Meghan Miller to finish a season with over 100 saves. Miller recorded 111 stops during the 2003 campaign.

Playing the Percentages

Senior Emily Strinden leads the team with an .800 shots on goal percentage. Strinden has taken 10 shots this year and put eight of them on net, nearly doubling her career percentage heading into the season.

Brutal Schedule

Kansas has found navigating through the early part of its schedule to be extremely taxing, and for good reason. KU’s non-conference schedule has been one of the toughest in the country. Of the Jayhawks’ 10 non-Big 12 opponents, only two (Washington and Drake) are currently under .500, while two others (Hawaii and BYU) are both undefeated. The combined winning percentage of KU’s non-conference foes is .657 (33-16-5) and four of them are nationally ranked.

Quick Kicks

– No. 4 Portland was the highest ranked opponent the Jayhawks have faced since 2003, when they met third-ranked UCLA in the NCAA Tournament.

– Sophomore Kim Boyer played a career high 71 minutes against Washington on Sunday and took a pair of shots.

– Junior Sara Rogers made her first start of the season in Friday’s loss at No. 4 Portland, while two other veterans, junior Kristin Graves and senior Emily Strinden, made their first starts of the 2007 season Sunday against Washington.

– Sunday’s match with Washington was KU’s first opponent to enter the contest under .500.

Looking Ahead
Kansas will continue its busy week with contests against No. 25 Illinois and No. 20 California on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The Jayhawks and Fighting Illini will kick off at 5 p.m. Friday evening, while KU will meet the Golden Bears Sunday at 1 p.m.