No. 18 Kansas Kicks Off Big 12 Play at Nebraska, Iowa State

Sept. 24, 2008


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The 18th-ranked Kansas soccer team will face its first test against Big 12 opponents this season when the Jayhawks travel to Nebraska and Iowa State this weekend. KU (6-2) challenges the Huskers Friday in Lincoln, Neb., at 4:30 p.m., and then takes on the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa, on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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:

Last Time Out

The Jayhawks were on the wrong end of a second half rally against the 15th-ranked Florida Gators. Sophomore Shannon McCabe gave KU a 1-0 lead early in the second half with her second goal of the season. However, Florida responded with two goals by Ashlee Elliott in the final 25 minutes of play for a 2-1 win.

Scouting the Huskers

After starting the season with four consecutive losses, Nebraska enters conference play undefeated in its last five matches. The Huskers (4-4-1) have four wins and a tie – all at home – in the last three weekends of action.

Nebraska has all 11 starters back from last year’s squad. This includes junior forward Shay Powell, who leads the team with five goals and 11 points. Powell tallied a goal over the weekend against North Dakota State. Eight different Huskers have been credited with assists this year. In goal, senior Brittany Pfeil and sophomore Jessica Mills have split time in net. Pfeil has seen a bulk of the playing time recently, recording 561 minutes between the pipes with an 0.64 goals against average and one shutout. Pfeil has made 14 saves in 18 chances.

Head coach John Walker is in his 16th season at Nebraska and has an overall record of 219-81-17 at the school.

Jayhawk-Husker Connections

– Kansas sophomore Erin Lewis and freshman Sierra Miramontez were teammates with Nebraska freshman Blair Slapper. Lewis and Slapper were teammates with the KCFC Alliance Heat, while Miramontez and Slapper both played on the Kansas State ODP team.

– Three Jayhawks: Caitlin Noble, Rachel Morris and Geneva Magness played club soccer with Nebraska sophomore Brittany Goosen on the KCFC Alliance Futuras.

– Five other Jayhawks: Stephanie Baugh, Jessica Bush, Missy Geha, Kristin Graves and Sara Rogers are former teammates of Nebraska junior Lauren Isenhower. Baugh, Bush, Geha and Graves played on the KCFC Dynamos, while all six were members of the Region II ODP team.

– Kansas sophomore Katie Williams and Nebraska goalkeeper Jessica Mills both played club soccer with Challenge ’89 as well as on the South Texas ODP State team.

Scouting the Cyclones

Iowa State enters Big 12 play having won four of its last six, including a three-match winning streak from Sept. 5-12. The Cyclones fell to in-state rival Iowa, 3-2, in their latest action, Sept. 21.

Iowa State returns seven starters from last year’s squad, which finished 8-6-5 overall. ISU is led offensively by senior Leslie Hill and junior Amanda Nimtz, who have three goals each. Sophomore Jordan Bishop leads the team with five assists. Junior goalkeeper Ann Gleason has started all eight matches and has a 1.74 goals against average with a shutout. Gleason has made 32 saves in 46 chances.

Wendy Dillinger is in her first year at ISU and is 4-4 in her first eight maches with the Cyclones.

Jayhawk-Cyclone Connections

– Kansas seniors Jessica Bush and Missy Geha both played on the KCFC Dynamos with Iowa State junior Adrianna O’Neill.

– Kansas junior goalkeeper Julie Hanley and Iowa State goalkeeper Ann Gleason played together on the Region II ODP team.

– Kansas freshman Alex Winchester and Iowa State’s Amanda Purple both grew up in Plano, Texas, however they were never teammates.

Cressy Named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week

Kansas freshman forward Emily Cressy has been named the Big 12 Soccer Newcomer of the Week. This marks the second time this season that Cressy has earned the honor from the conference office.

Cressy scored the game-winning goal in Kansas’ 3-2 win at No. 18 Central Florida. She broke a 2-2 tie in the 82nd minute to give the Jayhawks their first road win over a ranked opponent since 2004. Cressy leads KU with five goals, including three game-winning scores. She is currently tied for fourth in the Big 12 in goals, and is eighth in total points.

Katie Did

Sophomore defender Katie Williams continues to be an offensive threat from a defensive position. In KU’s recent win at then-No. 18 UCF, Williams shined on both ends of the field. The sophomore scored the Jayhawks’ first goal of the match, knotting it at one, and then set up Emily Cressy’s game-winning goal with a long pass across the field.

Williams scored the game-winning goal in last year’s match with Iowa State, heading in a corner kick late in the first half. The sophomore defender has five goals and two assists in 28 career matches.

Clutch Cressy

For the third time this season, freshman Emily Cressy scored the deciding goal in a KU victory. The 5-foot-5 forward broke a 2-2 tie on Sept. 19 in a match at then-No. 18 UCF in the 82nd minute, scoring her team-leading fifth goal of the season.

Not only has Cressy scored more goals than any other Jayhawk this season, but her scoring strikes have come at the most opportune times. Four of her goals have come in the second half, while two goals (plus one assist) have come in the final 10 minutes of play. Her goals have also been good news for the Jayhawks, as KU is 4-0 in matches that Cressy has scored in.

Offensive Upgrade

A big reason for KU’s early season success this year has been an explosive offense. The Jayhawks are averaging 2.5 goals per match (up 1.41 gpm from last year), and 14.5 shots per match (11.3 in 2007). KU is also just three goals away from matching their total offensive output from all of 2007.

Through eight matches, KU has scored more goals (20) than any Jayhawk team since scoring 23 in the first eight contests of the 2001 season. The scoring has come against a difficult opponents as three of KU’s first eight competitors were ranked in the Top 25 at the time of the match.

Quick Kicks

– The Jayhawks open Big 12 play this weekend on the road. This marks the third straight season that KU’s first conference match of the year is away from the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

– KU has not won a conference opener since it downed Baylor, 1-0, on Sept. 23, 2005.

– Junior forward Shannon McCabe scored her second goal of the season against No. 15 Florida on Sept. 21. Six of McCabe’s seven career goals have come on the road, while three have come against ranked opponents (at No. 15 Florida – 2008; vs. No. 23 Oklahoma State – 2007; vs. No. 12 Duke – 2006).

– Freshman Kelsey Cliftonscored her first collegiate goal against No. 18 UCF on Sept. 19. Clifton – the twin sister of fellow freshman Kortney Clifton – replaced her sister midway through the half and tallied a go-ahead goal off a Jessica Bush pass.

– Senior Jessica Bush collected her fourth assist of the season and 18th of her career. Bush’s 18 assists rank her fourth all-time at KU, while her 44 career points are the sixth-most by a Jayhawk.

– Junior Monica Dolinskyrecorded an assist on Shannon McCabe’s goal against No. 15 Florida. Dolinsky is tied for the team lead in points (11) with Emily Cressy. The Jayhawk tandem is tied for eighth in the Big 12 in points.

– Junior goalkeeper Julie Hanley stopped her second penalty kick attempt against No. 18 UCF. Opposing teams are now just 1-for-3 this year on PKs. No Kansas goalkeeper has ever stopped multiple penalty kick attempts in the same season.

– Outshooting the opposition has not always meant a Kansas victory this season. In the Jayhawks’ two losses, they have outshot their opponents by a 36-11 margin, including a 13-8 edge in shots on goal.

Double Trouble

Three different Kansas athletic teams feature identical twins on their rosters, including freshmen Kelsey and Kortney Cliftonon the Jayhawk soccer team. The Cliftons join Amy and Missy Geha, as the second set of sisters to play soccer at KU, and the first to appear on the team at the same time.

Recently, Kelsey Clifton replaced her sister in a match, and made an immediate impact, scoring a go-ahead goal in a Jayhawk victory. Kortney Clifton is currently third on the team with three goals and an assist this season.

Other twins on KU athletic squads include freshmen Markif and Marcus Morris (men’s basketball) as well as sophomores Alyssa and Brittany Potter (swimming and diving).

Up Next

After four straight road matches, the Jayhawks return to the friendly confines of the Jayhawk Soccer Complex to take on Texas Tech, Friday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m., and Colorado, Sunday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. Following the weekend trip to Nebraska and Iowa State, Kansas will play six of its next eight contests at home, before wrapping up the regular season at Missouri, Oct. 31.