Kansas Soccer Seniors to Play Final Career Matches against SIU-Edwardsville
Oct. 28, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Eight seniors will lace `em up for the final time as a Jayhawk Friday, as Kansas soccer (5-13, 1-9 Big 12) closes out the 2010 season against SIU-Edwardsville at 3 p.m., at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Kaitlyn Cunningham, Erin Ellefson, Lauren Jackson, Erin Lewis, Geneva Magness, Rachel Morris, Caitlin Noble and Katie Williams will all be honored during the game’s senior day ceremony.
Kaitlyn Cunningham (F): A 2010 team captain, Cunningham came through in two big games this season, scoring against Missouri and netting the game-winner to take down nationally-ranked Northwestern in front of her hometown Chicago-area crowd. Cunningham has scored three goals and assisted on one for eight career points.
Erin Ellefson (MF): Ellefson, or “Elfy” as she is better known to her teammates, played four years at midfield for the Jayhawks. Primarily seen on the corners or taking free kicks with a devastating swing, Ellefson scored a game-winner against Drake last season, helping KU open 2009 with a win. Ellefson has scored two goals and assisted on two for six career points.
Lauren Jackson (D): Known for her outstanding athleticism, Jackson has been a four-year mainstay on KU’s backline. Jackson helped the KU defense blank two ranked opponents and aided in KU’s six shutouts during the 2008 NCAA Tournament campaign. Jackson has scored two goals and assisted on six for 10 career points.
Erin Lewis (MF): Lewis battled back from a season-ending knee injury as a junior to play a career-high 13 games in her final season as a Jayhawk. The midfielder helped KU open this season with a win by assisting on the second of KU’s three goals in the opener against Eastern Kentucky. Lewis has assisted on two goals for two career points.
Geneva Magness (D): Magness established herself as a shutdown defender after grabbing a starting job two seasons ago. One of four graduating players from nearby Overland Park, Magness has ranked in the top five in minutes played in the last two seasons. Magness has steadily improved with each season, and was named 2009’s Most Improved Player.
Rachel Morris (MF): Morris has been a key reserve off the bench in her four-year career. One of the primary distributors at midfield, Morris’ garnered TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week honors as a junior after a big performance at the 2009 Jayhawk Invitational. Morris has scored five goals and assisted on three for 13 career points.
Caitlin Noble (D/M): After playing one year at Indiana State, the local product out of Overland Park has contributed on both offense and defense in her three seasons at KU. A high-energy player, Noble has scored six goals and assisted on 2 for 14 career points.
Katie Williams (D): Williams scored three goals in each of her first two seasons, including a goal in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The defender garnered several awards after a breakout freshman season earning Big 12 and regional recognition. Williams has scored six goals and assisted on two for 14 career points.
Weekend Recap: KU Eliminated from Big 12 Contention
For the first time in 11 seasons, the Jayhawks will be excluded from the Big 12 Conference tournament. After going 0-2 against Nebraska and Colorado in the final weekend of conference play, the Jayhawks finish the season with a 1-9-0 Big 12 record (11th place), falling short of the eight-team postseason tournament in San Antonio. This is just the second time in head coach Mark Francis’ 12-season tenure that KU has failed to qualify for the Big 12 Tournament.
Scouting the Cougars
Currently a reclassifying program, SIU-Edwardsville enters the final weekend at 8-5-1. The Cougars have relied on a trio of underclassmen to provide the bulk of their offense. Freshman Meagan Iffrig and sophomore Kirstin Dierker have scored four goals each while another freshman, Hope Jones, has added three. A strong offensive season has been complimented by a solid defense. Just 14 goals have been allowed and goalkeeper Claire Lovercheck has a 0.98 GAA.
Goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau became just the sixth person in Kansas soccer’s 15-year program history to record over 100 saves Friday, Oct. 22, with her third of five saves at Nebraska. Liebetrau’s total of 113 moves her into fourth place on KU’s single-season saves list, one spot ahead of former All-American keeper Meghan Miller. She also moved into fifth-place all-time past Betsy Pollard for career saves with 158 over two seasons. Earlier this season, Liebetrau was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the week Sept. 14, after a stellar weekend between the posts in UNLV’s Rebel Classic. The Big 12 saves leader started off the season with 15 at Georgia, one away from matching Pollard’s school record.
Too Close for Comfort
KU has fallen victim to tough luck this season, coming out on the wrong end of close scores. Of the nine Big 12 losses, the Jayhawks have lost by just two goals or less in eight of 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.
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.