Kansas Opens Big 12 Slate with No. 7 Oklahoma State Friday
Sept. 19, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Jayhawks kick off the 2012 conference schedule when they host the No. 7-ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls Friday at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The conference’s leading goal-scorer, Caroline Kastor, will try to give the Jayhawks their first win over a top-10 opponent since 2008.
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 and Howard Graham’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 19th meeting on the soccer field between Kansas and Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls hold a slight lead in the all-time series with an 8-7-3 advantage over the Jayhawks. OSU has won each of the previous five meetings, including a 5-1 win in Stillwater last season. A win Friday would give KU its first victory over the Cowgirls since 2005.
About the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are receiving votes in the latest National Collegiate Soccer Coaches Association poll. KU lost its first match in over three weeks, 1-0, to Denver last weekend. Junior Caroline Kastor leads the team in both points (16) and goals (seven) this season while senior Whitney Berry and sophomore Jamie Fletcher leads the squad with four assists a piece. Kastor also lead the group in shots with 32.
As a team, the Jayhawks have averaged 18.1 shots per match. Kastor leads the conference in goals and is second in points while freshman phenom Ashley Williams is third in the Big 12 in both points and goals scored. The KU defense has held opponents to 1.00 goal per match and allowed just 9.1 shots per contest.
Scouting the Cowgirls
Oklahoma State is ranked seventh in the latest National Collegiate Soccer Coaches Association poll. The Cowgirls began the season with six-straight wins before falling to rival Oklahoma in a non-conference meeting, 1-0 on Sept. 7. Since then OSU has won three straight, including a 2-0 win over Fresno State last Sunday. Oklahoma State has allowed only three goals in its last four matches while scoring nine goals in the three games since its lone loss of the season. The team also leads the Big 12 in corner kicks with 76 or 7.6 per match.
In its first 10 matches OSU averaged 2.50 goals per game and posted 18.4 shots per contest. The Cowgirls have 10 players who have scored a goal in the opening 10 matches and are led by senior forward Megan Marchesano’s six goals and 14 points. Oklahoma State has amassed 184 shots so far this season with 52.2 percent on goal.
The Cowgirl defense has held its opponents to an 0.90 goal average in the first half of the 2012 campaign and allowed just 10.5 shots per match. Of the nine goals the Cowgirls have allowed, seven have come in the second period. OSU’s senior goalkeeper Adrianna Franch has started all of the Cowgirls’ matches and posted four shutouts. The Salina, Kan., native has posted a 0.81 goals against average and a .771 save percentage.
Colin Carmichael is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Oklahoma State women’s soccer program. He enters the season with a coaching record of 125-30-19 while at OSU. The South Alabama grad has led the Cowgirls to six consecutive appearances in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, and after advancing to the second round four-straight years, the Cowgirls made back-to-back trips to the Elite Eight in 2010 and 2011. Oklahoma State has also claimed the last four league championships.
Last Time Out
Despite outshooting the visiting Pioneers 16-8, including 11-1 in the second half, Kansas was shut out for the first time this season, 1-0 by Denver last Friday evening. Sophomore Jamie Fletcher led the Kansas attack with five shots, while Whitney Berry tallied three. Fletcher and Berry were each able to put two shots on goal as well.
Leading the Big 12
In the first five weeks of the season Jayhawks have claimed four Big 12 weekly honors. Junior forward Caroline Kastor was named the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 11 following her four goal, one assist effort the previous weekend. The honor was the first in the Wichita, Kan., native’s KU career.
Freshman Ashley Williams collected three honors over the first three weeks of the season, being named Newcomer of the Week twice and Offensive Player of the Week once. Kastor is currently tied for the lead in the Big 12 in goals and second in points (16) and game-winning goals (three). Williams is not far behind however, as she is third in the league in points (14) and goals (six).
NEVER LOOKING BACK
The Jayhawks have scored the first goal in all but two of their nine matches this season, with the two matches being their only two losses to Northwestern and Denver. In fact, in three of KU’s last five 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 116:27 minutes out of 849:59 total minutes played in 2012. The only matches Kansas has trailed in have been the 2-1 loss to Northwestern, the 2-2 tie to Arizona State, and the 1-0 loss to Denver, the only three matches KU has not won this season.
Kansas has proven to be one of the least penalized teams in the Big 12 through the first half of the 2012 campaign. The Jayhawks have yet to be issued a yellow or red card this year, which makes them the only team in the Big 12 to have not been given a caution this season. The nine-straight caution-less matches also tie the team record for consecutive games with no cards, matching the 2010 Jayhawks, who also started the season with no cautions or red cards in their first nine matches.
Through nine games the Jayhawks are also averaging just 8.22 fouls per match with a total of 74 in 2012, the third fewest in the Big 12 this season.
Four Score and Nine Years Ago
The weekend of Sept. 7, Caroline Kastor joined elite company when she was able to score two or more goals in two consecutive matches. 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 through the first half of the season with her three goals and four assists through nine 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.
The Jayhawks hit the road for the first time in 2012 when they travel to Waco, Texas for a Friday, Sept. 28 matchup with the Baylor Bears. Kickoff from the Betty Lou Mays Soccer Complex is slated for 7 p.m. (CT). Two days later, KU will head north to play conference newcomer TCU on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. in Fort Worth, Texas.
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