Jayhawks Eliminated from Big 12 Championships on Penalty Kicks

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Sophomore Jessica Bush tallied her eighth goal of the season on Wednesday, but it was not enough for the University of Kansas to advance in the Big 12 Soccer Championship. KU and Colorado played to 1-1 tie, but the Buffaloes outdid the Jayhawks, 5-3 on penalty kicks in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament at Blossom Soccer Stadium.

The match officially goes down as a tie, but fifth-seeded CU will advance to play top-seeded Texas A&M on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

The loss ends KU’s run at the Big 12 Championships. The team is 11-7-1 overall, and will find out Monday if it has been selected for the NCAA Championships, which begin Nov. 10.

This marked the first time in the history of KU soccer that a match has come down to penalty kicks. Freshmen Monica Dolinsky, Shannon McCabe and junior Afton Sauer all connected on their shots from the 15-yardline. However, Colorado goalkeeper Kirstin Ralinski stopped KU’s first shot.

Kansas had opportunities to score throughout the match, but could only muster Bush’s goal in the 37th minunte.

The sophomore knotted the match at 1-1 with her team-high eighth goal of the season. Sophomore Missy Geha started the play, sending the ball up to senior Holly Gault who followed with a long pass in front of sophomore Jessica Bush. Bush made a move around CU goalkeeper Kirstin Radlinski and finished her team-leading eighth goal of the season at 36:33.

The assist was the 19th of Gault’s career, tying her for second in KU history with Hilla Rantala.

Early in the second half, sophomore Sara Rogers nearly gave KU the lead. Freshman Shannon McCabe sent a perfect cross to the far post, however Rogers’ header attempt sailed just wide of the net.

Midway through the half, Geha had an open shot and sent a laser towards the near post from 21 yards out that just missed as well.

The Jayhawks outshot Colorado 17-14, including 8-4 in the first half. KU held a slight 5-4 edge in corner kicks. Sophomore goalkeeper Julie Hanley made fives in the team’s first tie of the season.

Bush led the offense with three shots and two on net, while Dolinsky, McCabe, Geha, Rogers and sophomore Kristin Graves had two a piece.

KU’s defense held Colorado forward Nikki Marshall, the Big 12 Rookie of the Year as well as the conference’s leading scorer, to just one shot in the match.