Big 12 Soccer Tournament Up Next for Conference Champion Jayhawks

Nov. 1, 2004

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Just days after clinching its first Big 12 Championship, the University of Kansas soccer team now sets its sights on post season success as the Jayhawk travel to San Antonio, Texas, to participate in the Big 12 Soccer Tournament. The top-seeded Jayhawks will square off against No. 8 seed Iowa State on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Blossom Soccer Stadium.

No. 7 Kansas shared the league title with Texas A&M, who also finished with an 8-2 record in Big 12 games. The Jayhawks will be the top seed at the Big 12 Tournament by virtue of a 1-0 victory over the Aggies in College Station on Oct. 22.

The 16 regular season wins posted by the Jayhawks is a program record, topping the 15 games that the 2003 team won on its way to a third place finish in the Big 12 and a Sweet 16 appearance. This season the Jayhawks have become one of the nation’s top defensive teams. In 19 games this season, KU has allowed only six goals. The Jayhawks’ 0.31 goals against average ranks second nationally among Division I teams with more than 10 games played. Only Penn State, who has allowed five goals in 18 games, has a lower team goals against average than the Jayhawks.

Offensively, junior Caroline Smith enters the tournament after tying her season-high in points with five (two goals, one assist) in the team’s regular season finale against Iowa State. The Edina, Minn., native leads KU in goals (9), assists (7) and points (25). Senior Rachel Gilfillan has been a clutch performer for the Jayhawks this season. She is second on the team with eight goals and 17 points and is leading the team with five game-winning tallies. Sophomores Nicole Cauzillo and Holly Gault have added to the Jayhawk offensive punch this season, with Cauzillo chipping in four goals and 15 points this season and Gault tallying three goals and 10 points.

In net, senior Meghan Miller has been the Big 12’s most outstanding goalkeeper. She enters the Big 12 Tournament leading the conference in goals against average (0.32), save percentage (.929) and shutouts (11). The Seattle, Wash., native has been selected as the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Week three times this season.

On Monday, seven Jayhawks were honored as the Big 12 Conference announced its All-Big 12 teams. Miller, Smith, Gault and senior Amy Geha were selected to the All-Big 12 first team, while Gillfillan and freshman defender Afton Sauer received second team honors. Cauzillo and Sauer were also named to the All-Big 12 Newcomer Team. Head coach Mark Francis was selected at the Big 12 Coach of the Year.

If it advances beyond the first round of the tournament, Kansas will face the winner of the Nebraska/Texas match up in Friday’s Semifinal round. The tournament’s championship match is slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday.