Jayhawks Ready for Road Tests at Oklahoma, Texas
Oct. 10, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas soccer continues it three-game road swing when the Jayhawks travel south for matches against Oklahoma and Texas. KU will hit the pitch in Norman to face the Sooners Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m., before playing the Longhorns in Austin on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m.
The Jayhawks lead the all-time series over the Sooners 9-6-1. Kansas held a 6-1-1 advantage from 2003-09 but the Sooners have won each of the last two meetings. KU trails in the all-time series with the Longhorns 3-12-2, however KU has won each of the previous two meetings, including a 3-2 double overtime victory last season in Lawrence.
About the Jayhawks
KU is coming off a 1-1 draw in its first non-conference road match of the season, a matchup versus 12th-ranked Wake Forest. The Jayhawks, who have yet to lose two matches in a row this season, find themselves tied for fourth in the league standings. Junior Caroline Kastor leads the team in both points (20) and goals (nine) while senior Whitney Berry leads the squad and is second in the Big 12 with six assists. Berry also leads the group in shots with 45 this year.
As a team, the Jayhawks have allowed just over one goal per match and are finding the back of the net 1.8 times per match. The Jayhawks have held their opponents to just 11.4 shots per game and four shots on goal per game. Sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud has started the last five matches for the Jayhawks and sports a 1.23 goals against average and has collected 22 saves.
Scouting the Sooners
Oklahoma is in the midst of an eight-game winless streak with its last victory coming over Oklahoma State on Sept. 7. In this span, the Sooners have played to three draws and have lost three matches by just one goal. OU also leads the Big 12 in yellow cards earning 11 on the season or 0.73 per match. The Sooners have allowed just nine percent of their opponents’ shots to be on frame.
The majority of the Sooners’ scoring comes from senior forward Renae Cuellar, who has scored nine of OU’s 16 goals this season. Cuellar has also taken over a third of the team’s shots this season with 63. Junior Annalisa Hall and Emily Bowman share the team lead in assists with two apiece.
The Sooner defense has held its opponents to 1.4 goals per game in 2012 but has allowed only one goal in 10 of its 15 outings this season. Oklahoma’s senior goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire has played every minute in goal for OU this year and has posted one shutout. Devonsire leads the Big 12 in saves per match at 5.47 and boasts a 1.29 goals against average and a .798 save percentage.
Matt Porter is in his first season as the head coach of the Oklahoma women’s soccer program. Prior to arriving in Norman, Potter established Washington State’s program into one of the Pac-12’s elite with a school record 88 wins (88-69-26 overall) at the helm, including five double-digit win seasons and three appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Scouting the Longhorns
Texas has amassed a record of 6-6-1 through the first 13 matches of the season and is currently boasting an unbeaten streak of five games. The Longhorns are one of two unbeaten teams in the Big 12 after defeating Iowa State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in their previous three matches, each of them shutouts.
The Longhorns have three players who have scored four goals and are led by senior midfielder Kristin Cummins in points, who has tallied 20. Texas has amassed 174 shots with 68 of those on goal and have scored seven goals in their previous three matches, all of them victories. The Longhorns also are second in the Big 12 in offside penalties with 37.
The UT defense has held its opponents to a 1.38 goal average in 2012 but has not given up a goal in its previous three outings. The Longhorns have also allowed just 12.4 shots per match. Texas’ freshman goalkeeper Abby Smith has started the last four matches and has posted three shutouts and four wins in that span. Smith has collected a 0.57 goals against average and a .786 save percentage.
Angela Kelly is in her first season at the helm in Austin after coming from a highly successful career at Tennessee. In Knoxville, Kelly led the Lady Vols to a 160-84-20 (.644) mark in 12 years. During her tenure, Tennessee reached nine NCAA Tournaments, making five Sweet 16 appearances. Her squads were 10-8-2 in the NCAA Tournament.
Last Time Out
The Jayhawks’ leading scorer, junior Caroline Kastor, scored her ninth goal while senior goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau made three second half saves as KU played to a 1-1 tie against the 12th-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem Sunday afternoon.
Junior Caroline Kastor not only leads the Jayhawks in scoring this season, her offense has come at the most opportune times for the team. Of Kastor’s nine goals this season, seven have either tied the score or given Kansas the lead in the match.
Kastor heads into the final quarter of the season ranking third in the conference in goals (nine) and fifth in points (20). Her nine goals are tied for second-most by a junior in Jayhawk history, just two behind Caroline Smith’s 2004 total.
Kansas earned a 1-1 draw at No. 12 Wake Forest on Sunday, marking the first result (win or tie) that KU has gotten against a ranked opponent on the road since a 2-1 win at No. 20 San Diego last season. Overall, the Jayhawks are 2-1-1 against top 25 foes this season with wins over No. 24 Georgia and No. 7 Oklahoma State to their credit.
Help Me, Whitney
Kansas senior Whitney Berry etched her name in the Kansas record books two weeks ago, 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 the game-winning goal against TCU on Sept. 30 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.
Kansas has proven to be one of the least penalized teams in the Big 12 this season. 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 14-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 14 matches the Jayhawks are also averaging just over eight fouls per match with a total of 113 in 2012, the second fewest in the Big 12.
Odds and Ends
– Ali Kimura saw her first action in a Jayhawk uniform last weekend. Kimura, a junior from Overland Park, Kan., joined the team after the season started.
– Amy Grow collected the assist on Kastor’s goal Sunday. It was the senior’s third assist of the season.
– Senior Kat Liebetrau saw her first action in net since starting the Sept. 9 match against NC State. Liebetrau made three saves Sunday to help preserve the tie.
– KU moved to 4-3-1 all-time against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, including 1-0-1 this season. The Jayhawks are the only team in the Big 12 conference to knock off an ACC squad this year. The Big 12 holds a 1-4-2 record against teams from the ACC this year with the lone win coming in KU’s 3-2 win over NC State on Sept. 9.
Kansas returns to the friendly confines of the Jayhawk Soccer Complex when the Jayhawks play host their final two conference matches of the year. KU will start the weekend with a matchup versus the Iowa State Cyclones at 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19 and will return to the pitch Sunday to play the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 1 p.m.
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