Jayhawks Open Big 12 Championship with Red Raiders
Oct. 29, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas soccer team will take part in the Big 12 Soccer Championship beginning Wednesday in San Antonio, Texas. The sixth-seeded Jayhawks will meet third-seeded Texas Tech in the quarterfinal match set for 2 p.m. at Blossom Soccer Stadium.
On the Air
Fans can watch a web stream of every tournament game via Big12Sports.com. Kansas will also provide live play-by-play coverage of the Jayhawks’ weekend contest on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. The audio feed will be available for free on All-Access as fans can tune in to Pete Knutson’s audio coverage. Fans can also follow the action via GameTracker on KUAthletics.com or on Twitter at KU_Soccer.
The Jayhawks lead the all-time series with the Red Raiders 12-5-1 with TTU picking up the most recent machup, a 3-1 win on Oct. 14 of this season. Both teams have meet only once before in the Big 12 Championship. In 2009, the Jayhawks and Red Raiders played to a draw in the tournament quarterfinals with KU advancing on penalty kicks.
About the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are coming off a big non-conference win over Northern Colorado last week to close our the regular season, defeating the Bears, 5-0. Junior Caroline Kastor leads the team in both points (24) and goals (11) while senior Whitney Berry leads the squad and is second in the Big 12 with seven assists. Berry also leads the team in shots with 65 this year.
As a team, the Jayhawks have allowed just over one goal per match and are finding the back of the net 1.84 times per match. The Jayhawks have held their opponents to just 11.7 shots per game and 3.6 shots on goal per game. Senior goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau has played in 13 of KU’s matches this year and has started the last four. Liebetrau has a goals against average of .99 and a save percentage of .714. She has collected 30 saves on the year and four shutouts.
Scouting the Red Raiders
Texas Tech has amassed a record of 14-4-1 through the end of the regular season and finished third in the conference standings, their highest finish ever. TTU has lost a match in nearly a month and are currently receiving votes in the latest NSCAA Coaches’ poll. The Red Raiders have allowed only two goals during their current unbeaten streak of five games and have scored 10 goals in that same span.
The Red Raiders have three players who have scored five goals or more this season and are led in goals by freshman forward Janine Beckie, who has tallied 11 in her debut campaign in Lubbock. Texas Tech has amassed 372 shots with 186 of those on goal and has outscored their opponents 21 to seven in their previous nine matches, seven of them victories. Texas Tech is second in the Big 12 in offside penalties with 46 in 2012.
The TTU defense has held its opponents to less than one goal per game in 2012 and collected eight shutouts on the year. The Red Raiders have also allowed just 10.5 shots per match. Texas Tech’s junior goalkeeper Victoria Esson has played in 18 of their 19 matches this season and has posted 5.2 shutouts and 12 wins this season. Esson has collected a .98 goals against average and a .807 save percentage.
Tom Stone is in his six season at the helm at Texas Tech. During his tenure in Lubbock, Stone has built the Texas Tech program into an annual contender in the Big 12 Conference most recently guiding the Red Raiders to their highest finish in school history during the 2012 campaign. The Red Raiders finished third in 2012 in what is consistently regarded as one of the toughest conferences in the country.
Last Time Out
Senior Nicole Chrisopulos tallied a goal and an assist, while junior Jamie Fletcher added a pair of assists as Kansas celebrated Senior Day with a 5-0 triumph over Northern Colorado in the regular season finale in Lawrence. The Jayhawks earned their 10th 10-win season during the 14-year tenure of head coach Mark Francis.
In the 16 years of the Big 12 tournament, Kansas has amassed a record of 4-8-3 in its 11 appearances. The Jayhawks have been a No. 6 seed only once before, falling to the third-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers in the quarterfinals of the 2002 tournament.
In four of the Jayhawks’ last five league championship appearances, they have played to a draw and gone to penalty kicks, however they have failed to advance in all but one of those matches, with the lone win coming against Texas Tech in 2009.
Four Jayhawks saw their names listed on the league’s All-Big 12 teams released earlier this week. Senior Whitney Berry found her name on on the All-Big 12 first team for the first time, junior Caroline Kastor and sophomore Jamie Fletcher were named to the second team and freshman Ashley Williams made the Big 12’s All-Newcomer Team, all for the first time. The announcement means Kansas has had at least one Jayhawk on an All-Big 12 team each year since the current format began in 2000. The four Jayhawks selected also mark the most selected from KU since 2006 when the squad placed six players on the all-conference teams.
The Jayhawks ended the regular season ranking among the toughest defensive squads in KU history. Their goals allowed average of 1.11 is the fourth-lowest in program history, behind the 2004 (0.55), 2003 (0.75) and 2006 (0.98) teams. The group is allowing just under 12 shots per game, the lowest average a KU team has had since 2006.
The Jayhawks are also making life easy for their goalkeepers this year, having them face just over four shots on goal per match. This team as allowed the fewest shots on goal in a regular season in program history, beating out the 2006 team which allowed 92 shots on goal in 19 games, compared to this year’s team that has faced just 75 shots on goal.
Whitney In The Record Books
Kansas senior Whitney Berry etched her name in the Kansas record books two weeks ago in KU’s 4-1 win over Iowa State. Berry’s goal and assist moved her into a tie for second on the all-time Kansas points list with 76. The Wichita, Kan. native ties Monica Dolinksy (2006-09) in the No. 2 spot.
Three weeks ago, Berry recorded two assists to give her the school’s career record for helpers with 31. Her 31 assists moved her past former teammate Monica Dolinsky, who collected 30 from 2006-09. The senior’s 31 assists are also the most among active players in the Big 12 and rank 13th in conference history.
The Jayhawks have yet to be issued a yellow or red card this year, which makes them the only team in a BCS conference to not have been given a caution this season. The 19-straight caution-less matches is a team record for consecutive games with no cards, beating out the 2010 Jayhawks, who started the season with no cautions or red cards in their first nine matches.
Through 19 matches the Jayhawks are also averaging just 7.79 fouls per match with a total of 148 in 2012, the fourth fewest in the Big 12.
Odds and Ends
-All but one of Kansas’ seven losses have come by one goal this year.
-Kansas is 10-2-1 against teams currently outside the top 36 in the RPI rankings this year.
-After not finding the points column for three-plus seasons at KU, senior Nicole Chrisopulous has collected two goals and two assists in as many games to close out her final regular season in Lawrence.
-KU is 10-1-1 in matches when the Jayhawks score first.
-With the Jayhawks’ 10-win season, KU has now won at least 10 matches in 10 of the last 12 seasons.
If the Jayhawks win their quarterfinal matchup, they will take on the winner of the Baylor-Oklahoma State game on Friday, Nov. 2 in the semifinal slated for 8 p.m.
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