Kansas Soccer Travels to Nebraska, Colorado for Final Big 12 Matches

Oct. 21, 2010


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Kicking Off

The Jayhawks will play their final two Big 12 Conference matches of the 2010 slate on the road, traveling to Nebraska and Colorado, Friday and Monday. Friday’s action will kick off at 3:30 p.m., in Lincoln, Neb. Monday, the Jayhawks will conclude the 2010 conference season with a 1:30 p.m., match in Boulder, Colo.

Weekend Recap: Tough Luck Continues

Kansas’ unlucky streak continued this weekend as the Jayhawks went down on the road and at home to Texas Tech and Baylor. Friday night in Lubbock, Texas, the Jayhawks allowed two early headers by the Red Raiders, owners of the third-best RPI in the conference at the time, and failed to match them. Hosting the Bears two days later, the two teams battled to a scoreless draw after regulation and the first overtime period. Three minutes into the second overtime period, a controversial call was made when Shelby Williamson was tangled up with a Baylor player in an attempt to break up a play. Both players went down in the box on the play and Williamson was awarded a yellowcard. Hannah Gilmore was chosen to take the penalty kick and sent it past goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau in the 103rd minute, giving Baylor the win.

Scouting the Huskers

Nebraska has called on the services of Morgan Marlborough, the Big 12’s leading scorer with 41 points, to lead the Huskers to an 11-5-1 overall record and a 4-3-1 conference mark this season. Marlborough, a forward, has connected on 16 goals this year and assisted in nine. Jordan Jackson is almost as much of a threat as Marlborough, tallying nine goals and eight assists (26 points), good enough for second in the Big 12. The combination has made Nebraska’s offense formidable: the Huskers come into the weekend trailing Texas A&M in nearly every offensive category, averaging 2.29 goals per game. However, the defense has not always held up, as the Huskers’ 27 goals allowed are the second-most in the Big 12. Primary goalkeeper Tara McDonald has done well between the posts, converting 80% of opponents’ shots on goal into saves and averaging 5.60 saves per game, but the Huskers’ goals against average mark of 1.57 is better than only Missouri’s in the conference.

Scouting the Buffs

The Buffs looked strong early in the season after an impressive overtime upset of highly-touted UCLA but struggled to find their footing once conference play started, posting a 2-5-1 mark in the Big 12 (6-9-1 overall). A trio of players lead Colorado with three goals each, while Kate Russell’s three goals and five assists gives her a team-leading 11 points. CU has employed three goalkeepers this season, with Annie Brunner seeing the bulk of the minutes. Nineteen has been the magic number for the team this season, with the offense scoring 19 goals and the defense allowing the same.

Century Club

Goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau comes into this weekend needing just three saves to hit the 100 save mark for the season. Liebetrau has more than doubled her total of 45 that she posted last season during her freshman campaign.

Too Close for Comfort

KU has fallen victim to tough luck this season, coming out on the wrong end of close scores. Of the seven Big 12 losses, the Jayhawks have lost by just two goals or less in six them, three of the four non-conference losses have all been by a single goal and KU has gone into overtime three times, with two of those matches being contested in double-overtime.

Saved by Liebetrau

Liebetrau was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the week Sept. 14, after a stellar weekend between the posts in UNLV’s Rebel Classic. Liebetrau allowed only a single goal and registered 17 saves in matches against CS Northridge and Oregon. The redshirt-sophomore recorded her second shutout of the season and made 11 saves in KU’s 1-0 win over Oregon. With 97 saves, Liebetrau has led the Big 12 in total saves and saves per game (6.06) all season. Her .795 save percentage is also seventh in the conference. In the first week of the season, Liebetrau set a new career-high when she recorded 15 saves at Georgia. Her total against the Bulldogs was the fourth-highest total recorded in Division I this season.

Climbing the Ranks

Emily Cressy’s game-winning goal against Texas was the 11th of her career, which moves her into second place all-time in Kansas’ 15-year program history. The junior forward now has 23 career goals and needs just one more to surpass former teammate Monica Dolinsky’s mark for third all-time. Goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau also occupies the No. 5 spot in career saves with 128. Sophomore forward Whitney Berry currently has 12 career assists and needs just two more to crack KU’s top-10.

On the Radar

Berry was recently named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s list of the top 20 players in the Big 12. The All-Big 12 selection was named the 15th-best player to watch this season in the conference. The Wichita native had a strong freshman campaign scoring six goals and assisting in nine, for a new Kansas freshman record in assist. Berry was third on the team with 21 points.

KU Picked Eighth

The Jayhawks were picked to finish in eighth place in the Big 12 in the preseason coaches’ poll. Texas A&M was picked as the preseason favorite, receiving 95 points and eight first-place votes. Last season, the Jayhawks went 12-8-2 overall and 4-6 in Big 12 play to tie for seventh. Oklahoma State, the defending conference champ, was picked to finish fourth.