Soccer Opens Four-Match Home Stretch Friday with No. 10 Texas A&M
Sept. 30, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas soccer continues Big 12 play this weekend when Texas A&M and Texas pay the Jayhawks a visit. The No. 10-ranked Aggies will start things off Friday, at 5 p.m., at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The Longhorns will come to town Sunday, at 1 p.m.
Weekend Recap: Tigers, Cyclones Slip Past Jayhawks
Kaitlyn Cunningham scored KU’s lone goal of the weekend when she struck in the fifth minute of last Friday’s Border Showdown in Columbia, Mo. But after Missouri’s Kendra Collins netted the equalizer later in the first half, the momentum swung in the direction of the Tigers, as they topped the Jayhawks with a second-half hat trick for the 4-1 win. Sunday, the Jayhawk offense was stifled by Iowa State, as they fell 2-0. The Jayhawks went 0-2 in the first weekend of Big 12 action, and come into this weekend’s matches at 4-6 on the season.
Scouting the Aggies
A traditionally dominant program, the Aggies (8-3-0, 1-1 Big 12) have lived up to the billing of preseason No. 1. Texas A&M’s offense has scored 29 goals this season while the defense has limited opponents to just 14, and comes into Friday’s contest leading the Big 12 in nearly every offensive category. Eight goals have come off the foot of senior forward Alyssa Mautz, giving her the third-highest total in the Big 12. Merritt Mathias and Rachel Shipley are right behind Mautz with six and four goals each, respectively. Texas A&M has held its own with an aggressive schedule. Until dropping their opening conference match to Colorado last Friday, the Aggies’ only losses came to then-Nos. 1 and 3, North Carolina and Portland.
Scouting the Longhorns
Although not currently ranked, Texas (6-2-2, 0-1-1 Big 12) has been receiving votes throughout most of the season in the HendrickCars.com/NSCAA rankings. The Longhorns have also played an aggressive non-conference schedule but managed to two big wins: A 4-0 defeat over then-No. 22 William and Mary and a 1-0 win over then-No. 12 BYU, handing the Cougars their first loss of the season. The lone goal in the BYU game came from redshirt freshman Leah Fortune in the second minute, leading Fortune to a Big 12 Newcomer of the Week award. In the opening weekend of Big 12 play, the Longhorns were edged by a Nebraska squad in the midst of a win streak, going down 2-1 in Lincoln, and played Colorado to a scoreless draw.
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 KU’s 1-0 win over Oregon. With 65 saves, Liebetrau continues to lead the Big 12 in total saves and saves per game (6.50). Her .802 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 TopDrawerSoccer.com’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.