Kansas Soccer Travels to Oklahoma Friday

Oct. 13, 2009

Coach Francis Interview Oct. 15

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The Kansas soccer team will hit the road for the final time during the 2009 regular season when it travels to Oklahoma and Baylor this weekend. The Jayhawks will face the Sooners at John Crain Field in Norman, Okla., on Friday at 7 p.m.

Gametracker will be available with live statistical updates for the match Friday. Fans can find a link to Gametracker at www.kuathletics.com.

ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS

Kansas won its first Big 12 contest Friday with a 3-2 win over Texas Tech, however the Jayhawks fell to Colorado 1-0 on Sunday. Freshman Whitney Berry scored two goals and added an assist against the Red Raiders, while freshman Shelby Williamson tallied her sixth goal of the season in the second half, which proved to be the game-winner.

KU’s offense has averaged 2.20 goals per game, while the team is allowing its opponents just 1.33 goals per game. Sophomore Emily Cressy and Williamson lead the team with six goals each while Berry is tops with seven assists. Freshman Kat Liebetrau has posted a 1.16 goals against average and a .750 save percentage with two shutouts.

LAST TIME OUT

Despite outshooting the visiting Buffaloes 20-7, including 14-2 in the second half, Kansas fell for the first time at home this season, 1-0 to Colorado Sunday on a chilly day at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The Jayhawks edged the visitors in nearly every statistical category — except the score — as KU outshot CU 20-7, and had five corners to just one for the Buffaloes.

SCOUTING THE SOONERS

Oklahoma enters the weekend at 7-7-1 overall, and 2-4 in the Big 12. With six points in the conference this season, OU sits in a tie with Oklahoma State for eighth-place. The Sooners earned a road win at Iowa State last Friday, but fell at Nebraska on Sunday.

OU’s offense is paced by junior Whitney Palmer, who is second in the Big 12 with 14 goals this season. Heading into last weekend, Palmer ranked in the top 10 in the nation in goals and points. Freshman forward Dria Hampton leads the team with four assists. In goal, freshman keeper Kelsey Devonshire has started every match and has a 1.84 goals against average with a .723 save percentage and five shutouts.

Kansas leads the all-time series with Oklahoma, 8-4, with one tie. However, the Jayhawks are winless in the schools’ last two meetings, including a 1-1 tie at John Crain Field in 2008. KU is 2-2-1 all-time in matches played in Norman, Okla.

jayhawk-Sooner connections

  • Kansas senior Shannon McCabe and Oklahoma senior Ashley Farrand were teammates at Jenks High School in Tulsa, Okla., as well as teammates with the Tulsa Soccer Club and Oklahoma State ODP team.
  • Jayhawk junior defender Lauren Jackson and OU’s Tiana Dickson, Kelsey Kraft and Danielle Digeralamo were all teammates with the Slammers FC in southern California. Oklahoma’s Brianna Turang and Kali Fornier are also products of the Slammers, but played with a different age group.
  • KU sophomore Alex Winchester and the Sooners’ Sage Coralli were teammates for two years at John Paul II High School in Plano, Texas.
  • Kansas freshman Nicole Chrisopulos and Oklahoma freshman Candace Campsey were teammates on the Dallas Texans club team.
  • Oklahoma assistant coach Kara Lowery served as an assistant coach on Mark Francis’ staff at Kansas prior to accepting the position at OU.

BERRY, BERRY GOOD

Freshman forward Whitney Berry has been KU’s top performer in Big 12 play this season. The first-year forward has been involved in five of the Jayhawks’ seven goals during the conference season, scoring two and assisting on three others.

She is tied for second in the Big 12 in assists (seven), and is tied for seventh in points (15).

Berry has upped her performance in recent weeks, tallying points in four of her last five matches, including a two-goal match against Texas Tech on Oct. 9. Her five points against the Red Raiders match the season-high by a Jayhawk this season, and the most by a Kansas player in a Big 12 match since Monica Dolinsky’s six-point game at Missouri in 2006.

BACK IN THE SADDLE

After missing five-straight weekends with an injury, senior forward Shannon McCabe returned to the Jayhawk lineup on Oct. 9 and played 31 minutes.

McCabe accounted for just over 18 percent of the team’s offense last season (nine goals, five assists) and had a goal and an assist in the first two matches of the 2009 season.

SHELBY SCORES

After starting the season scoreless in her first four contests of the season, freshman midfielder Shelby Williamson has come on as of late. The Colorado Springs native has scored at least one goal in each of the last four weekends, including the game-deciding tally in KU’s 3-2 triumph over Texas Tech on Oct. 9.

Williamson’s six goals in the team’s last 11 contests has her tied for the team lead with sophomore Emily Cressy and tied for seventh in the Big 12. Over the last four weeks, only Nebraska’s Morgan Marlborough (nine), Oklahoma’s Whitney Palmer (eight) and Texas Tech’s Dawn Ward (six) have more goals than the Kansas freshman.

CORNER KICKS

  • Kansas hits the road for the final weekend away from the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. So far this year, KU is 2-3-1 away from home.
  • The Jayhawks fell to Colorado on Oct. 11, snapping the team’s six-match winning streak at home. The streak dated back to Oct. 24 of last season.
  • Senior Kim Boyer collected two assists in the match against Texas Tech. The senior forward/defender came off the bench for the first time this season, and aided in two of the Jayhawks’ three second-half goals.
  • The Jayhawks’ three second-half goals in the Texas Tech match tied the season-high. KU also scored three times in the second half of its 5-0 win over San Diego on Sept. 18, as well as three goals in the first half of a 3-1 win over Long Beach State on Sept. 4.
  • Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau set a career high with six saves in the win over Texas Tech on Oct. 9. The six stops also matched the most by any Jayhawk keeper this season.
  • Kansas outshot Colorado, 20-7 in a 1-0 loss on Oct. 11. It marked the second time this season that KU has tallied 20 shots in a match and been shut out. The Jayhawks recorded 22 shots in a scoreless tie with Colorado College on Sept. 13.
  • Jumping out to an early lead has been an important key in KU’s success this season. The Jayhawks are 8-2 when scoring the first goal, as well as 6-0 when they hold a lead at the half.
  • Kansas ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring margin, outscoring its opponents by an average of 0.87 goals per match.

UP NEXT

Kansas will play its final road match of the 2009 regular season Sunday when it travels to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears at 1 p.m. Baylor provides a live audio webcast for the match, which can be found at www.baylorbears.com. Fans can also follow live statistical updates via Gametracker at www.kuathletics.com.