Jayhawks Open Big 12 Championship with Cowgirls

Nov. 5, 2007

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The Kansas soccer team will participate in the Big 12 Soccer Championship beginning Wednesday in San Antonio, Texas. The third-seeded Jayhawks will meet sixth-seeded Oklahoma State in the final match of the first round at 7:30 p.m. at Blossom Soccer Stadium. Live video for all of the conference championship matches is available at www.big12sports.com

About the Jayhawks

Kansas (7-9-4, 5-2-3 Big 12) rallied from a slow start to finish with six wins and two ties in its final nine matches of the regular season. The latest, perhaps its best result of the year, a 2-1 triumph over No. 18 Missouri on Senior Day at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex last Friday. Freshman defender Katie Williams scored a pair of second half goals, while senior goalkeeper Colleen Quinn made eight saves to lead the Jayhawks. KU returns 18 letterwinners and nine starters from last year’s squad which finished 11-7-1.

Scouting the Cowgirls

Oklahoma State (12-5-2, 5-4-1 Big 12) enters the conference tournament as the No. 6 seed after a 5-4-1 record in the Big 12 this year. OSU defeated in-state rival Oklahoma, 2-0, in its regular season finale last Thursday.

Three different Cowgirls have five goals, including 2006 Big 12 Player of the Year, Yolanda Odenyo, along with senior Sasa Jackson and sophomore Siera Strawser. Sophomore midfielder Kasey Langdon leads the conference with eight assists. Junior Erin Stigler has started all 19 contests for Oklahoma State and has an 0.76 goals against average, an .833 save percentage and six shutouts.

Head coach Colin Carmichael is in his first year as the head coach at OSU after serving as the co-head coach with Karen Hancock the last two seasons. During his tenure, the Cowgirls have amassed an overall record of 39-14-8, including a 17-3-3 mark last season and a trip to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 round. The Cowgirls return eight starters and 14 letterwinners from last year’s team.

KU leads the all-time series with Oklahoma State, 7-3 with three ties, including a 2-2 draw in Lawrence earlier this season. This will be the second time the schools have met in the Big 12 Soccer Championship. OSU defeated KU, 1-0, in the second round of the 2003 tournament en route to the school’s only conference title.

Oklahoma State on the internet: www.okstate.com

Last Time Out

Freshman defender Katie Williams scored a pair of goals three minutes, 30 seconds apart in the second half, while senior goalkeeper Colleen Quinn made eight saves to lead Kansas to a 2-1 triumph over No. 18 Missouri Friday afternoon at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

Friday evening, Williams finished a pair of corner kicks with her head midway through the second half. She became the first freshman to record a multi-goal match since teammate Monica Dolinsky tallied a pair of goals at Missouri last season. She is the first freshman defender in KU history to score two goals in a match.

In the 71st minute, the Jayhawks tied the score as Williams used her head to direct a Monica Dolinsky corner kick inside the near post as the Jayhawks tied the score at one.

Less than four minutes later, Williams did the same thing on the far post off a Shannon McCabe corner kick. The freshman defender became the third different Jayhawk to record two goals in a match this season, joining sophomore Kim Boyer (at Texas Tech) and junior Sara Rogers (vs. Nebraska).

The Will(iams) to Win

For the second straight match, freshman defender Katie Williams tallied the game-winning goal, this week to down No. 18 Missouri, 2-1. Williams is the first player since Jessica Bush (2006) to record game-winning goals in back-to-back games and the first freshman to have more than one clincher since Bush tallied three in 2005.

Williams also became the first Kansas defender since Holly Gault (2005) to collect as many as three goals in a single-season. She was also the second freshman in as many years to enjoy a multi-goal contest against KU’s Border Showdown rival. Last season, Monica Dolinsky scored a pair of goals in the Jayhawks’ 4-0 triumph in Columbia, Mo.

The Mighty Quinn

Senior goalkeeper Colleen Quinn made eight saves in her final start at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex to lead KU to a 2-1 triumph over No. 18 Missouri Friday. Quinn, who has not allowed more than one goal in a match since Oct. 14, and has an 0.85 goals against average over the final nine contests of the regular season with three shutouts over Big 12 Championship teams.

Start Me Up

Senior defender Afton Sauer will make her 83rd consecutive start in a Jayhawk uniform, second most in school history, in Wednesday’s match against Oklahoma State. She set the team record for most matches started by a field player, passing former teammate Holly Gault (82). Sauer has started every Jayhawk match over the last four years and has spent very little time on the bench.

Sauer has led KU in minutes played in each of the last two seasons (1861 in 2005 and 1742 last year). Her 7,405 minutes played at KU rank second to only Meghan Miller (7,836). Over the last four seasons, Sauer has anchored a defensive unit which has allowed 1.02 goals per game and posted 32 shutouts.

Mo’ Points, Mo’ Wins

Once again, sophomore Monica Dolinsky played a vital role in a Kansas win. The 5-foot-5 midfielder/forward collected an assist on Katie Williams’ game-tying goal Friday against No. 18 Missouri.

In her two years at KU, the Jayhawks have enjoyed a lot of success when she is on the scoring sheet. The team is 12-1-1 in matches when Dolinsky scores at least one point, including 7-0 when she scores a goal. After a slow start this year, Dolinsky has eight points (two goals, four assists) in KU’s last nine matches as KU has posted a 6-1-2 mark in that span.

Two Jayhawks Earn Academic All-District 7 Honors

Kansas seniors Nicole Cauzillo and Emily Strinden have been selected to the Academic All-District 7 Second Team by ESPN the Magazine. This marks the second consecutive season that Cauzillo has been named academic all-district while Strinden earns the honor for the first time in her career.

Cauzillo, a senior English major from Northville, Mich., is the team’s leading scorer with five goals and three assists this season. She has three, three-point contests, tallying a goal and an assist in matches against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Nebraska this year. Cauzillo is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection and is eligible to be named to the team again this year. She was also named Academic All-District 7 last season.

Strinden, a senior Spanish/Latin American Studies major from Lufkin, Texas, has appeared in 17 of KU’s 19 contests this season and has a goal and and an assist. The 5-foot-5 senior scored the Jayhawks’ first goal of the year against Auburn and collected an assist against Illinois. Strinden is also a two-time academic all-conference selection, but earned academic all-district honors for the first time.

Quick Kicks

– Kansas closed out the regular season with a 6-1-2 record in its final nine matches after a 1-8-2 mark in its first 11 contests.

– KU scored 17 goals and allowed just eight in its final nine matches.

– The Jayhawks will meet Oklahoma State for the second time this season. The Jayhawks and Cowgirls played to a 2-2 tie in Lawrence earlier this year.

– Kansas head coach Mark Francis is 7-2-1 against the Cowgirls as KU’s head coach, but 0-1 against OSU in the postseason.

– Defender Katie Williams became the first freshman to score the game-winning goal on Senior Day since Jessica Kilpatrick did against Oklahoma State on Oct. 31, 2003.

– Williams became the third different Jayhawk to record a multi-goal match this season. Sophomore Kim Boyer tallied a pair of goals at Texas Tech on Oct. 7, and junior Sara Rogers also had two goals in a contest against Nebraska, Oct. 26.

– Senior Colleen Quinn made eight saves in Friday’s win over Missouri. Over her last five matches, Quinn has stopped 35 of the 37 shots on goal for a .946 save percentage. She is tied for second in the conference in saves (102) and is eighth in goals against average (1.40).

– Sophomore Shannon McCabe recorded the assist on Katie Williams’ game-winning goal Friday. It was McCabe’s first point since missing three contests with an injury following the Oklahoma match (10/14). This season, the sophomore midfielder is fourth on the team with eight points (two goals, four assists).
– KU’s victory over No. 18 Missouri was its first against a ranked opponent since downing then-No. 12 Duke on Sept. 10 last year. In that contest, the Jayhawks also had to overcome a second half deficit.

Looking Ahead

With a win Wednesday, Kansas will advance to the second round of the conference tournament and face the winner of the Texas-Colorado match at 7:30 p.m. The Jayhawks have not advanced to the semifinal round of the Big 12 Soccer Championship since 2004, when they also met Texas. A second-round win would move the Jayhawks to the championship match of the tournament for the first time in school history. This year’s championship will take place on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. The match will be carried on Fox Sports Net.