Big 12 Championship On The Line for Kansas Soccer in Season Finale
Oct. 27, 2004
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas soccer team looks to win its first Big 12 Championship with a victory over Iowa State on Friday at 3 p.m. at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Before the game, KU will honor its seven seniors, who will finish their careers as the most successful class to go through the Kansas soccer program.
A victory would give the Jayhawks an 8-2 record in conference play this season and earn a co-Championship with Texas A&M, who also holds an 8-2 league record. The title would the first ever for the soccer program and only the second ever won by a women’s team from KU.
This season, the Jayhawks (15-3-0; 7-2 Big 12) have become one of the nation’s top defensive teams, allowing only six goals all season long. Only Penn State, which has allowed only five goals in 2004, has allowed fewer goals against than the Jayhawks. The Kansas defense has set a school-record with 12 shutouts this season.
Senior Meghan Miller has been outstanding in net, as she leads the Big 12 with a 0.33 goals against average, a .929 save percentage and 11 shutouts. The Seattle, Wash., native, has been named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week three times this season and has not allowed more that one goal in a game at all this season.
Offensively, junior Caroline Smith, the program’s all-time leading scorer, leads the team with 20 points and is has tallied seven goals this season. Senior forward Rachel Gilfillan has tallied seven goal this season, four of which have been game-winning tallies for the Jayhawks. Sophomore Nicole Cauzillo and Smith share the team-lead in assists, each with six.
On Friday, Miller and Gilfillan will join fellow seniors Monica Brothers, Amy Geha, Stacy Leeper, Gabriela Quiggle and Lauren Williams in being honored for their careers before the match. The group has lead Kansas to its only two NCAA appearances in program history, including last season’s Sweet 16 run, while piling up 57 wins in their four years in Lawrence. Against Iowa State, they will try to add a Big 12 Championship to their resume.
“It would be huge for us to win the Big 12 Championship, but especially for this group of seniors,” said head coach Mark Francis. “They have been the most successful group that we have ever had, as far their careers, the games that we have won and the seasons we have had. I’m really happy for them that we have had the success we have had, and obviously its not over yet. It is a just reward for all the hard work they have put in and the dedication they have shown.”
The Cyclones enter the weekend with a 7-10 overall record and a 4-5 mark in Big 12 play. Iowa State enters Friday’s contest trying to snap a three-game losing streak.
Freshman goalkeeper Jo Haig has been impressive in her first season in Ames, posting a 1.10 goals against average in 1388:26 minutes this season. The Inver Grove Heights, Minn., native, has made 86 saves and collected a .835 save percentage.
Junior forward Amy Flores leads the team with six goals and nine points this season.