Jayhawks, No. 18 Tigers Battle in Regular Season Finale
Oct. 28, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
The Kansas soccer team closes out the regular season when it travels to Columbia, Mo., Friday for a confrontation with Border Showdown rival Missouri. The Jayhawks will meet 18th-ranked Tigers at 6:30 p.m., at Audrey J. Walton Field.
The final contest of the 2008 regular season will be a big one for the Jayhawks, who are competing with Missouri for an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Both schools have a chance to solidify their resumés, as well as move up in the Big 12 standings. KU – currently in seventh – could finish sixth with a win and a Nebraska loss at Iowa State.
Friday’s match will be featured on Gametracker by CBS College Sports. A link for Gametracker can be found on the official website of Kansas Athletics, www.kuathletics.com. Live video can also be seen on Missouri’s website for a subscription fee.
Last Time Out
Junior Monica Dolinsky’s goal off a free kick from 27 yards out in the first half propelled the Kansas soccer team to a 1-0 triumph over Baylor Sunday afternoon at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. By virtue of their fourth conference win, the Jayhawks clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship. Pending outcomes next weekend, KU will be the No. 6 or No. 7 seed in the championship.
Scouting the Tigers
Missouri enters Friday’s showdown having split with the same teams KU faced last weekend, Texas and Baylor. The Tigers have gone 6-2 over their last eight matches, propelling them to a No. 18 ranking in the latest Soccer Times poll.
Junior Kristin Andrighetto and sophomore Alysha Bonnick lead the Tigers with seven goals and 16 points, while juniors Michelle Collins and senior Ashley Hamblin are tied with a team high four assists. Junior goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore has started all 17 matches in goal and has a 0.90 goals against average with eight shutouts. Dittamore has made 61 saves in 76 chances for a .803 save percentage.
Head coach Bryan Blitz is in his 13th season at Mizzou, and has a record of 137-119-10 with the Tigers and an overall record of 182-163-18 in 17-plus seasons at Missouri and Butler. Blitz led Missouri to the NCAA Tournament last season with a 13-8-1 record.
– Kansas head coach Mark Francis and Missouri head coach Bryan Blitz faced each twice during their collegiate careers on the soccer field. Francis, who played at SMU, bested Blitz’ Tulsa Golden Hurricane, during the 1984 and 1986 seasons.
– Kansas midfielder Jessica Bush and Missouri defender Lindsey McCoy were teammates at Blue Springs High School, helping the team place third at the state tournament in 2004. MU’s Kelsey Stokes also grew up in Blue Springs, Mo., but attended South High School.
– KU defender Estelle Johnson and Missouri’s Krista Kruse grew up in Fort Collins, Colo., and both played for the Fort Collins Arsenal.
– Kansas’ Erin Ellefson, Missy Geha, Geneva Magness, Rachel Morris and Caitlin Noble as well as Missouri’s Kari Adam all grew up in Overland Park, Kan.
– Kansas defender Katie Williams and Missouri’s Crystal Wagner are both products of the Challenge Soccer Club in the Houston area. However, they weren’t teammates as Wagner played for the ’88 squad, and Williams for the ’89 team.
– Kansas goalkeeper Julie Hanley and midfielder Monica Dolinsky were both teammates with MU’s Mo Redmond with the Region II ODP team.
– KU’s Jessica Bush, Monica Dolinsky and Julie Hanley played on the Region II ODP team with Missouri’s Ashley Hamblin.
Border Showdown Update
Kansas and Missouri meet on the soccer field Friday in another chapter in the Border Showdown. This marks the seventh year that the two schools have participated in this points-based challenge, which measures the success of the two schools against one another on the playing fields. Missouri has claimed the Border Showdown in each of the last two seasons and leads this year’s compeition (1.5-0) after a volleyball win on Oct. 15 in Columbia.
Junior Monica Dolinsky’s eighth-minute goal on Sunday lifted Kansas to a 1-0 win over Baylor and helped the Jayhawks clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship. If history repeats itself, Dolinsky will also have a say in Friday’s season finale at Missouri. In two career matches against KU’s Border Showdown rival, Dolinsky has two goals and three assists, including the assist on the game-tying goal in last year’s contest.
Dolinsky leads the Jayhawks with eight goals and 22 points this season, which ranks her fourth in the Big 12 in points. Her offensive totals are the most by a Jayhawk since Caroline Smith’s numbers (nine goals, 26 points) in 2005.
Since falling to then-No. 12 Oklahoma State, 3-2, on Oct. 10, the Kansas defensive unit has been rock solid, allowing just two goals in the team’s last five matches. In those five matches, junior Kim Boyer has started at left outside back, solidifying a unit that includes junior Estelle Johnson, and sophomores Lauren Jackson, Geneva Magness and Katie Williams.
During the last five matches, KU has held its opponents to an 0.38 goals against average with three shutouts. However, more importantly, Jayhawk opponents are averaging just 11.0 shots per game, and just 3.2 shots on goal per game.
Senior Day Revisited
Sunday’s 1-0 win over Baylor marked the final regular season match for KU’s six-member senior class. Seniors Stephanie Baugh, Jessica Bush, Missy Geha, Kristin Graves, Jenny Murtaugh and Sara Rogers were honored with a ceremony following the match.
The group of seniors enjoyed one of the more successful runs in team history. In the last four years, the Jayhawks have won 40 matches, and placed in the top four of the Big 12 standings each of the last three seasons. KU has also been a great team at home, amassing a 24-13-1 mark (.645) at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex, including a 7-3 record this year. This group of seniors has also been honored with five All-Big 12 selections as well as seven Academic All-Big 12 picks.
– Kansas travels to No. 18 Missouri on Friday in the regular season finale for both schools. This marks the sixth time since 2000 that the rival schools have finished the regular season schedule with each other. KU has claimed four of those contests.
– The Jayhawks match against 18th-ranked Missouri marks the eighth nationally ranked team that KU has faced this season. Kansas is 3-4 this year against the Top 25.
– This also marks the first time KU has played on Halloween since a 2-0 win over Oklahoma State in 2003. The Jayhawks are 2-0 all-time on the October holiday.
– Senior Jessica Bush and junior Monica Dolinsky are moving up in the KU record books. Bush is currently tied for fourth in school history in points (49), ninth in goals (14), second in assists (21), fourth in shots (141), third in shots on goal (67) and fourth in game-winning goals. Dolinsky is seventh in points (48), tied for fifth in goals (16), tied for seventh in assists (16), third in shots (143), fifth in shots on goal (60), and tied for eighth in game-winning goals (4).
– Bush has also started 77 matches – the fourth most in school history by a field player. Her 55 consecutive starts is the longest active streak on the team.
– Junior Missy Geha’s four shots attempted against Baylor Sunday were a season-high, and the most since she took four shots against Texas A&M on Oct. 8, 2006.
– Kansas’ 38 goals this season are the fifth-most in school history, and the most since KU scored a school record 47 goals in 2004. The Jayhawks’ 2.11 goals per game average is also on pace to be the highest total since 2001, when the team average 2.25 goals per game.
The Jayhawks will participate in the Big 12 Championship in San Antonio, Texas on Wednesday, Nov. 5. This marks the ninth-straight conference tournament berth for KU. Kansas will be either the No. 6 or No. 7 seed, and could face Colorado, Oklahoma State or Texas A&M in the first round pending results Friday.