Jayhawk Soccer Hosts Texas, No. 24 Texas A&M During Alumni Weekend
Sept. 28, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Returning to conference play, the University of Kansas soccer team (7-4, 0-1 Big 12) will take on Big 12 foes Texas (7-3, 1-1 Big 12) and No. 24 Texas A&M (8-4, 2-0 Big 12) this weekend at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Friday’s kick-off versus the defensive-minded Longhorns is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday’s match with the Aggies, one of the top offensive teams in the country and KU’s third ranked opponent in the last four games, is slated for 1 p.m.
It will be a busy weekend at the soccer field as lots of activities are planned. Friday is Heroes Day and all medical, fire, police, military and teachers can get into the game for just $3. Soccer alumni will be honored during Sunday’s contest, which has also been designated as the Jayhawks for a Cure game. Fans wearing pink to the game will have a $3 admission charge. Donations will also be accepted at the gate with all proceeds going towards the Lawrence Memorial Hospital and KU Cancer Center. Prior to the game, former Jayhawks Meghan Miller, Caroline Smith and Holly Gault will have their jerseys retired.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas enters Friday’s contest on the heels of a 6-1 victory versus Oral Roberts Sunday for KU’s most goals since recording seven versus Francis Marion on Oct. 19, 2008. The win improved the Jayhawks to 7-4 overall, including 0-1 in Big 12 play after falling to No. 2 Oklahoma State Friday. Freshman forward Ingrid Vidal collected two goals versus ORU to bring her season total up to a team-high eight, which also ranks tied for second in the league. She is also third in the conference with 21 points. The KU offense is supported by junior midfielder Whitney Berry, whose eight assists tie for the national lead, while her 4.09 shots per game are second-most in the Big 12. The duo was recently named to the Big 12 Top 20 player rankings according TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Between the posts, redshirt freshman Kaitlyn Stroud (4-1) paces the team with 1 .40 goals against average and .720 save percentage. She splits time in goal with junior Kat Liebetrau. Liebetrau (3-3) is averaging 5.67 saves per game to lead the conference.
Texas split a pair of Big 12 Conference games last weekend dropping a 1-0 decision to Baylor but bounced back with a 2-1 victory versus Iowa State to bring a 7-3 overall mark to Lawrence. The Longhorns feature a balanced offense as nine different players have scored at least one goal, led by senior forward Kylie Doniak’s five scores. She also leads UT with 13 points. Junior forward Hannah Higgins owns the team lead with six assists. For the season, Texas has outscored opponents 21-9 and is averaging 14.9 shots per game compared to its opponents’ 9.2 average.
Junior Alexa Gaul has started all 10 matches in goal for the Longhorns. She owns a 0.91 GAA with four shutouts. As a team, UT has been stingy on defense with a 0.89 GAA.
KU has defeated Texas just once as the Longhorns own a 12-1-2 advantage in the all-time series. KU’s lone win came last season, a 1-0 victory in Lawrence.
Scouting Texas A&M
Currently riding a five-game winning streak, No. 24 Texas A&M will travel to Missouri Friday before visiting the Jayhawks on Sunday. Prior to its contest with the Tigers, TAMU was 8-4 overall and tied for first in the conference standing with a 2-0 mark. As a team, the Aggies lead the league in every offensive category and their 47 goals lead the nation, helped along by the fact that they average more than 23 shots per game. Texas A&M is led by freshman Annie Kuntz, who has a league-leading 10 goals and 24 points. Freshman Kelley Monogue follows with 22 points with the help of eight scores. Five players have five or more assists, including senior Merritt Mathias and junior Beth West, who own seven apiece.
Freshman Renee McDermott leads the TAMU goalkeepers with a 1.39 GAA in five appearances. However, freshman Jordan Day has logged the most time between the posts with a 5-4 record and 1.82 GAA.
Texas A&M leads the all-time series with KU 11-3-1. The Aggies have claimed the last two meetings but the Jayhawks won twice in 2008, including a 4-2 win over then-ranked No. 8 TAMU during the Big 12 Championship.
The Jayhawks wrap up a four-game homestand versus Baylor on Friday, Oct. 7 before heading to Creighton on Sunday, Oct. 9 in a non-conference match.