KU Soccer to Host West Virginia, Travel to Wake Forest this Weekend
Oct. 3, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas soccer will return to the Jayhawk Soccer Complex Friday when it hosts Big 12-newcomer West Virginia Friday at 4 p.m. KU will then hit the road for a non-conference matchup with No. 17 Wake Forest. The contest from Winston-Salem, N.C. will kickoff at 11 a.m. (CT).
The weekend’s matches will mark the first meeting between Kansas and both of its opponents, Big 12-newcomer West Virginia and Wake Forest. The Jayhawks are 2-1-1 in games played on Oct. 5 and are 6-11 in matches which open up the month of October. The Jayhawks are 4-3 all-time against schools from the ACC, including a 3-2 win over NC State earlier this season.
About the Jayhawks
KU hit the road for the first time in 2012 and split a pair of conference matches, falling to Baylor (1-0) and downing TCU (3-2) in double overtime. Junior Caroline Kastor leads the team in both points (18) and goals (eight) this season while senior Whitney Berry leads the squad and the Big 12 with six assists. Kastor and Berry also lead the group in shots with 40 apiece.
As a team, the Jayhawks have allowed just over one goal per match and are finding the back of the net two times per match. The Jayhawks have also held their opponents to just 10.8 shots per game and four shots on goal per game. Sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud has started the last four matches for the Jayhawks and sports a 1.20 goals against average and has collected 19 saves.
Scouting the Mountaineers
West Virginia is ranked No. 15 and No. 16 in the latest Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America polls, respectively. The Mountaineers have not lost a match since Aug. 31, a 2-1 double-overtime defeat at No. 6 Penn State. In the eight matches since the loss, the Mountaineers have allowed only six goals and scored 20. The team is the only Big 12 squad to have already amassed three conference victories, putting it in the early lead in the league race.
The majority of the Mountaineers’ scoring comes from junior Frances Silva and sophomore Kate Schwindel who have accounted for 60 percent of the WVU goals this season. Silva leads the team in goals (eight) with Schwindel leading the group in assists (four) while each are tied for the team lead in points with 18 apiece.
The WVU defense has held its opponents to a 1.0 goal average in 2012 but has allowed only three goals in their last five outings with three shutouts in the span. The Mountaineers’ sophomore goalkeeper Sara Keene has started all of West Virginia’s matches and has posted five shutouts. Keene has posted a 0.94 goals against average and a .787 save percentage.
Nikki Izzo-Brown is in her 17th season as the head coach of the West Virginia women’s soccer program. She has led the Mountaineers to an impressive 224-87-32 overall record and a 92-40-17 conference mark that included five regular season Big East divisional titles and three tournament championships.
Scouting the Demon Deacons
Wake Forest, who currently sits at No. 17 in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire coaches poll, has amassed a record of 9-3-1 through the first 13 matches of the season. WFU shutout Clemson in their most recent match last Sunday. The Demon Deacons knocked off fourth-ranked Boston College the week prior. The Wake Forest defense, which has collected seven shutouts this year, has allowed only 0.54 goals per match, which ranks second in the ACC.
The Demon Deacons have six players who have scored two goals or more in their first 13 matches and are led by junior midfielder Ally Berry’s nine points. Wake Forest has amassed 195 shots with 85 of those on goal and have scored seven goals in their previous three matches, all of them victories.
The WFU defense has held its opponents to a 0.54 goal average in the first half of the 2012 campaign and allowed just 6.5 shots per match. Wake Forest’s junior goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe has started each match and has posted a league-leading six shutouts. Bledsoe has posted a 0.53 goals against average and a .806 save percentage.
Tony da Luz is in his 16th season at the helm in Winston-Salem and has earned a record of 200-111-29. Da Luz has led the Demon Deacons to 16-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and in 2011 led his team to their first-ever College Cup (national semifinals) appearance.
Last Time Out
The Jayhawks’ leading scorer, junior Caroline Kastor, got free in the 104th minute and scored the golden goal on a breakaway to power No. 23 Kansas to a 3-2, double overtime victory at TCU Sunday afternoon in Fort Worth. Sophomore Jamie Fletcher and freshman Ashley Williams each notched goals for KU, while senior Whitney Berry broke the all-time school record with her 31st assist.
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 not have been given a caution this season. The 12-straight caution-less matches is a team record for consecutive games with no cards, beating out the 2010 Jayhawks, who started the season with no cautions or red cards in their first nine matches.
Through 12 matches the Jayhawks are also averaging just eight fouls per match with a total of 96 in 2012, the second fewest in the Big 12.
Help Me, Whitney
Kansas senior Whitney Berry etched her name in the Kansas record books on Sunday, recording two assists to give her the school’s career record for helpers with 31. Her 31 assists moved her past former teammate Monica Dolinsky, who collected 30 from 2006-09.
Berry has been one of the best playmakers in Kansas history and fittingly, her record-breaking assist came on Sunday’s game-winning goal when she set up Caroline Kastor. The senior’s 31 assists are also the most among active players in the Big 12 and rank 13th in conference history.
No Time Like Overtime
While TCU rallied to force overtime in Sunday’s match, the Jayhawks should have confidence going into the extra periods. Dating back to the beginning of the 2011 season, KU is 5-2-2 in overtime matches, including 3-0 on the road in that span.
The Jayhawks have not lost an overtime match on the road since a 2-1 setback in Waco in 2009.
First-year forward Ashley Williams scored her seventh goal of the season just 17 seconds into the second half of Sunday’s win at TCU. It marked the fastest goal to start a half in the program’s history, beating out Caroline Kastor’s previous record when she found the back of the net 18 seconds into the first half in a match against Colorado on Oct. 25, 2009.
Williams continues her assault on opposing defenses as her seven goals lead all freshmen in the Big 12. She is also just five tallies away from the school record of 12 goals during a freshman season, which is held by Caroline Smith (2002).
Other Odds and Ends
-Senior Sarah Robbins collected an assist in Sunday’s victory over TCU, it was her first since Oct. 30, 2009.
– Kaitlyn Stroud made eight saves at Baylor, the most by a Jayhawk keeper this season and the most by her since making nine at Missouri last year.
– KU is tied for second in the conference in fewest goals allowed (13) and has a goals against average of 1.08. Comparatively, through 12 games last season the Jayhawks had allowed 26 goals and had a goals against average of 2.17.
The Jayhawks continue their three-game road swing when they travel south for matches against Oklahoma and Texas. KU will hit the pitch in Norman against the Sooners Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m., before playing the Longhorns in Austin on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.