Soccer Opens Conference Play Friday with Border Showdown

Sept. 23, 2010


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Kicking Off

Kansas soccer travels to Missouri and Iowa State this weekend to begin the 2010 Big 12 Conference slate. Historically, Kansas and Missouri have typically clashed in the end of the regular season, but in a break from tradition the Jayhawks will open the 2010 Big 12 season with their rivals in the annual M&I Bank Border Showdown.

Weekend Recap: Clifton Comes Through for KU

Kortney Clifton’s two goals powered the Jayhawks past Missouri State for a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon, at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The junior forward, whose goals were her first of the season and her first since her freshman campaign, struck early in both the first and second halves, leading a dominant KU offense that totaled 23 shots – just one shy of the Jayhawks’ season-high. The defense took over immediately after Clifton’s first goal, not allowing a shot in the entire first half and holding the Bears to a total of just six in the match.

KU finished 1-1 on the weekend after dropping an overtime heartbreaker to UW-Milwaukee, Friday afternoon. In the first home game since the season-opener, Kansas held the Panthers scoreless for 96 minutes, until Sarah Hagen broke through with the game-winner. KU is now 0-2 in overtime games this season.

Scouting the Tigers

What started out as a promising season for the defending Big 12 regular season champions took a hit by one of the most difficult and daunting schedules in Division I. In their first three games, the Tigers faced No. 16 Maryland in College Park, Md., and Nos. 19 and 1 Duke and North Carolina in a tournament hosted by the Tar Heels, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Two ties and two wins got Missouri back on track before the Tigers were handed a 3-2 loss by UW-Milwaukee, just two days after the Panthers defeated KU in overtime. Now 2-4-2 on the season, the conference season is an opportunity for the Tigers to move up from last place in the Big 12.

With 15 goals scored this season (five coming off the foot of senior forward Alysha Bonnick), Missouri’s offense has proven potent. However, the Tigers have had trouble in goal. Combined, Jessica Gwin and Paula Pritzen have allowed 19 goals for a conference-worst GAA of 2.20. Gwin, who has seen the most time between the posts, has allowed 14 goals but has also made 34 saves.

Kansas vs. Missouri All-Time

The Jayhawks have the slight edge against the Tigers, holding a 9-8-1 all-time record. In the Mark Francis era, KU has an even better 8-6-1 record in Border Showdown games.

Scouting the Cyclones

After playing Drake to a scoreless draw in the season-opener, the Cyclones went 4-0 to start the season off on a hot streak. But once the streak was snapped, Iowa State was slowed, losing two, tying one and winning one to put them at 5-2-2 going into this weekend.

The Cyclones’ freshmen have been the story of the season with forward Emily Goldstein, midfielder Brittany Morgan and goalkeeper Maddie Jobe highlighting this year’s class. Goldstein and Morgan lead the offense with two goals each and Jobe has emerged as one of the Big 12’s up-and-coming keepers. Earlier this season, Jobe was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and currently owns a 5-2-1 record in goal. Her 45 saves is second to KU keeper Kat Liebetrau’s Big 12-leading total of 51.

Kansas vs. Iowa State All-Time

The Jayhawks have typically fared well against the Cyclones, leading the all-time series 12-4. During Francis’ tenure at KU, the Jayhawks have lost to Iowa State just twice, and notched 10 victories.

Saved by Liebetrau

Goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the week Sept. 14, after a stellar weekend between the posts in UNLV’s Rebel Classic. Liebetrau allowed only a single goal and registered 17 saves in matches against CS Northridge and Oregon. The redshirt-sophomore recorded her second shutout of the season and made 11 saves in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Oregon. With 51 saves, Liebetrau now leads the Big 12 in total saves and saves per game (6.38). Her .836 save percentage is also seventh in the conference. 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

Berry was recently named to’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 champ, was picked to finish fourth.