⚽️ Harrison Shines in Net for 3-1 Victory
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Hayven Harrison made a career-high nine saves in a 3-1 Kansas victory against Oklahoma on Thursday night at Rock Chalk Park. The match was Harrison’s first career start in goal.
“I was proud of the kids,” Head Coach Mark Francis said. “They executed the game plan really well defensively. We knew that we were going to be able to catch them in the counterattack and we scored a couple goals from that.”
The first half was full of opportunities for both teams. Oklahoma went ahead 1-0 on a penalty kick in the 19th minute by Emma Hawkins. Kansas would respond a few minutes later.
Junior forward Shira Elinav hit a shot that was saved by the Oklahoma goalkeeper and deflected off the crossbar. The ball found its way into the middle of the box for freshman forward Lexi Watts to finish. The goal was the fourth of the season for Watts.
Less than two minutes later, KU would strike again. Super-senior midfielder Rylan Childers made a pass to freshman midfielder Malin Janser. Janser received the pass and took a shot from the edge of the box that ended up falling perfectly over the goalkeeper’s head for her first career goal. She had just checked in to the game 35 seconds prior to the goal.
Harrison was a key factor in maintaining the lead for KU. She made one of her nine saves in the 29th minute when she punched a ball that was headed for the back of the net over the crossbar. Kansas led 2-1 at the break.
Shortly into the second half, Kansas extended its lead. Childers took a free kick in the 54th minute from about 20 yards out and snuck it beautifully inside the left post to extend the lead to 3-1. That score would remain for the duration of the match.
The redshirt freshman, Harrison, had only appeared in two games off the bench this season for less than 40 total minutes. When asked about the key to her success on Thursday, Harrison said, “Being ready and getting the opportunity, I was grateful. My defense and everyone did great. I’m just grateful for the opportunity and everyone supporting me.”
Francis added, “She was brilliant. It’s the first game she has ever started in her college career and you would never know it the way she played and commanded the box. I can’t say enough good things about Hayven today.”
Kansas improved to 8-7-1 on the season and 1-4-1 in conference play, while Oklahoma dropped to 7-4-3 this year and 2-2-1 in conference.
Kansas will host Texas Tech on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Sports Network. Fans can purchase tickets to the match by contacting the Kansas ticket office at 785-864-3141 or by visiting the ticketing page here.