2019 KU Soccer Preview – The Keepers
LAWRENCE, Kan. – With the 2019 kickoff just a week away, KUAthletics.com sat down with Jayhawk head coach Mark Francis, to breakdown and preview each of his team’s position groups and the players set to take the field this season. This marks the final position-by-position preview for the upcoming season.
On the current 28-player roster, Kansas features four in the goalkeeping group. Here is a breakdown of the group:
Returnees (2): Sophomore Sarah Peters, Redshirt-freshman Emilie Gavillet
Newcomers (1): Freshman Gabbie Dawe, Freshman Melania Pasar
The Kansas coaches are perhaps as excited as they’ve ever been for the options they will have at their disposal to play in goal for the Jayhawks this season. The KU roster features four goalkeepers, each of whom brings their own set of skills that will make this one of the deepest goalie crews in recent memory. While these four are all underclassmen, the quartet has experience beyond their years and could make the spot in between the pipes a hotly contested one for the Jayhawks in 2019.
KU will see the return of sophomore Sarah Peters, who started each match during her debut season in Lawrence last year. All Peters did as a freshman was tally nine shutouts, collect 57 saves and earn a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman squad at season’s end. The bar is set high for Peters to improve on those numbers this year if she is able to win the starting spot.
Right behind Peters are three freshmen that each come into this season with some impressive credentials. Emilie Gavillet utilized her redshirt season a year ago and made tremendous strides since arriving in Lawrence. She has experience in the Bundesliga and with Bayern Munich prior to making the move to Kansas. Freshman Gabbie Dawe arrived on campus in January and has used that time to become a well-versed member of the crew. The Memphis native played for a state championship-winning program in high school but also has Crimson and Blue in her blood, as she is the great-great granddaughter of James Naismith, the first head basketball coach in KU history.
Melania Pasar rounds out the group and will also be a prime candidate to see minutes in goal this year. Pasar has length, athleticism, and an impressive resume that includes stints with the Slovenian national team at both the senior and youth levels.
Francis on the Goalkeepers:
"In goal, this is probably the best group we've had collectively since I've been here. There's going to be competition in that spot. The young guys are very talented so the entire group is really going to push each other. We're going to be better in goal, period, regardless of who is in there."
The Jayhawks will begin the 2019 regular-season on Thursday, August 22 when the Nebraska Cornhuskers come to Lawrence. Kickoff from Rock Chalk Park is slated for 7 p.m. KU will take the pitch for it’s one and only preseason exhibition on Friday, Aug. 16 to take on the Omaha Mavericks, also at 7 p.m.
Single-game tickets for the 2019 Kansas soccer season are now available for purchase. Tickets range from $8 for adults and $5 for seniors/youth. Season tickets are also still available for $50 and will provide general admission seating to all 10 of KU’s regular-season matches. For additional ticket information contact the Kansas Sales Team by calling 800-34-HAWKS or visit kuathletics.com/tickets.