Jessica Smith's Hat Trick Propels KU Past OSU, 4-1
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Jessica Smith tallied a hat trick to lead the University of Kansas to a 4-1 victory over Oklahoma State on Friday. The Jayhawks improve to 6-5-2 on the season and 2-2-1 in the Big 12 while OSU drops to 9-2-2 and 2-2-0 in conference play.
“We played very well in the first half,” commented head coach Mark Francis. “The big thing in today’s game is we had 14 shots and scored four goals. We finished our opportunities much better today.”
Jessica Smith wasted little time scoring her first goal of the season. The Wichita, Kan., native took a pass from freshman Jessica Bush and cruised up the right side before firing a strike from 15-yards out into the back of the net 4:29 into the match.
Oklahoma State quickly countered with a goal of its own 22 seconds later. Ashlyn Brantly beat KU’s freshman goalkeeper Julie Hanley after recovering a loose ball in the box.
Jessica Smith put KU ahead for good with her second goal in the 18th minute of the match. Michelle Rasmussen found Smith streaking up the right side of the field; the forward lifted her shot over OSU’s goalkeeper, Jeanne Rankin, and into the net to give KU a 2-1 lead.
With less than three minutes remaining in the first half, Holly Gault fired a shot on net that was stopped by OSU defender Lauren Colwell. The referee called a handball on Colwell, resulting in a KU penalty kick.
Sophomore Emily Strinden calmly notched her second goal of the season when she placed the penalty kick in the bottom right corner of the net. The Cowgirls were forced to play a player short after Colwell was sent off with a red card after the handball incident.
Caroline Smith set up Jessica Smith’s third goal when she sent a ball into the box from the right flank. Smith headed the ball while diving to the ground, beating Rankin for the third time. The hat trick was Smith’s first of her career.
Hanley recorded five saves in her third start of the season and first in Big 12 play. KU out-shot OSU, 14-13, including 9-5 in the first half. Jessica Smith led the team with six shots, five on goal.
The Jayhawks will host #21 Oklahoma on Sunday, Oct. 9. Kick off at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Match Notes: Entering the match Oklahoma State had only allowed four goals all season for a 0.32 goals against average … Jessica Smith’s hat trick was the sixth in KU soccer history … Caroline Smith tallied KU’s last hat trick on Sept. 12, 2003, in the Jayhawks 3-1 victory over Florida State … KU is 5-0-1 on Friday’s this season … The win was the Jayhawks first of the season when they didn’t record a shutout … KU’s four goals tied a season high … KU allowed only three corner kicks for the second consecutive match.