Jayhawks Down Denver 2-1, Advance to NCAA Tournament Second Round

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Katie Williams and Shannon McCabe scored first half goals as the Kansas soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 victory over Denver Friday at Cagan Stadium on the campus of Stanford University.

The Jayhawks, who earned their first NCAA Tournament win since the first round of the 2004 championship improve to 13-7-2 overall, while Denver drops to 18-3-2. KU will play the winner of Friday evening’s Stanford-UC Santa Barbara match Sunday at 3 p.m. CST at Cagan Stadium.

Kansas scored a pair of first-half goals and held on to a 2-1 triumph Friday.

In the 13th minute, sophomore Katie Williams gave the Jayhawks an early lead. The defender used her head to direct a Monica Dolinsky corner kick off the crossbar and into the net from five yards away from the goal. It was Williams’ third goal of the season and Dolinsky’s 10th assist, tying the school record for most assists by a junior.

The Jayhawks took a 2-0 lead just before the halftime break. Junior Shannon McCabe scored her ninth goal of the year with a drive low to the far corner of the net from 18 yards out. Senior Missy Geha started the play, intercepting an errant clearing attempt and finding McCabe along the far sideline. The junior forward dribbled toward the center of the field and fired her shot in after separating from the defender.

The Pioneers cut the lead to 2-1 in the 48th minute as Taryn Hemmings finished a set play on the far side of the box. DU’s leading goal-scorer put a head on a free kick from Jessi Keller just outside the box.

Denver had several chances late in the game, including a foul on the far sideline 40 yards out with seven seconds remaining, however, the ball was knocked down by the Jayhawk defense and kicked away to safety.

Kansas goalkeeper Julie Hanley made four saves in the match to earn her first NCAA Tournament victory. She is the second keeper in Jayhawk history to win an NCAA Tournament match, joining Meghan Miller – who won the team’s previous three.

The Jayhawks outshot Denver 19-13 in the match, including 14-7 in the first half. McCabe and Geha led the charge with four shots a piece, while Dolinsky and Jessica Bush each had three.

Kansas (13-7-2) advances to meet the winner of the Stanford-UC Santa Barbara match on Sunday at 3 p.m. CST at Cagan Stadium.