Texas-Size Road Trip Awaits Kansas Soccer

Oct. 21, 2004

LAWRENCE, Kan. – This weekend, the University of Kansas soccer team looks to do some things that it has never done in its history — beat Texas A&M and Texas, and win the Big 12. The No. 6 Jayhawks travel to College Station, Friday, to battle the No. 13 Texas A&M Aggies at 7 p.m. before heading to Austin on Sunday to take on the Texas Longhorns at 1 p.m.

Kansas (14-2-0; 6-1 Big 12) comes into the weekend riding its longest winning streak of the season, emerging victorious in its last six contests. Senior goalkeeper Meghan Miller picked up her Big 12-leading ninth and tenth shutouts of the season last weekend, as the Jayhawks blanked Oklahoma State and Oklahoma on the road. On Tuesday, Miller was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season. Junior forward Caroline Smith tallied her team-leading seventh goal of the season on Sunday against Oklahoma and now tops the team with 19 points this season.

This week KU appears at No. 6 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top 25, the team’s highest-ever ranking in the poll. The Jayhawks are also in the Top 10 in the SoccerBuzz Top 30 (No. 6) and the Soccer Times Top 25 (No. 8). The Soccer America Top 25 placed KU in the No. 11 spot this week.

With a 7-1 mark in conference play, the Aggies stand just percentage points ahead of the Jayhawks in the race for the Big 12 title.

Texas A&M, the coaches’ preseason pick to win the conference, has won seven of its last eight matches, but is coming off its first conference loss of the year, a 2-1 setback to Missouri. The Aggies are currently ranked No. 13 in the NSCAA/Adidas Top 25 and No. 9 in the SoccerBuzz Top 30.

Freshman Ashlee Pistorius leads the Aggies with 13 goals and 29 points this season. The Texas A&M offense features 10 players who have scored at least two goals this season. In goal, preseason All-Big 12 selection Kati Jo Spisak has compiled a 1.10 goals against average with 17 goals allowed in 1388:22 minutes in goal. The Manchester, Mo., native, has collected 38 saves this season with a .691 save percentage.

Texas enters the weekend coming off its biggest conference win of the season, a 5-0 shelling of Missouri in Austin on Oct. 17. The win moved the Longhorns to fourth place in the conference with a 4-3-1 mark.

Offensively, Texas has been led by senior forward Kelly Wilson, who had tallied nine goals and 29 points this season, and freshman forward Kelsey Carpenter, who has scored seven goals and 20 points and was named this week’s Big 12 Newcomer of the Week. Sophomore goalkeeper Dana Hall has played the majority of minutes in goal for the `Horns this year, collecting a 1.37 goals against average with a .651 save percentage, however, senior goalkeeper Alex Gagarin has started the last four games and posted a 1.64 goals against average with a .682 save percentage this season.