Jayhawk Insider: Hagan continues to make her mark on KU Soccer
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Grace Hagan did it again on Sunday afternoon. The Wichita native illustrated why she is one of the greatest goal scorers to come through Lawrence. In the final regular-season match on her home pitch, Hagan gave her team a much needed lift.
Against a pesky squad out of Texas Tech, the Jayhawks were looking to put up the first goal of the match after going more than 50 minutes without either team able to find the back of the net. This had proved to be a difficult task with strong wind gusts and heavy rain making it hard to put together an offensive attack. That didn’t stop Hagan though.
In the 52nd minute, Hagan received a ball from junior Elise Reina right in front of the net. And doing Hagan things, she fired it in past the goalkeeper to get the Jayhawks the 1-0 lead.
“You hope that all the players you have to improve while playing for you, but Grace [Hagan] has really come leaps and bounds as a player since she came here as a freshman.” head coach Mark Francis said of his senior captain. “The kid works so hard and is just a phenomenal example to the younger players.”
Making this an even more memorable moment was Hagan being able to put the Jayhawks on the board one final time at Rock Chalk Park on senior day.
“We wanted to make this a memorable day,” Hagan said. “We knew that the conditions were bad but there were plenty of fans here to support all of us. Family members that came from far away. So, it was a special day, […] the seniors definitely felt the love.”
The goal gave Hagan her sixth on the year, but more importantly, it gives her 24 in her Jayhawk career. That moved her into sole possession of that fifth spot on the KU all-time goals leader list.
“The success that she has had and the awards that she has gotten individually have been won partially because she has the ability but also because she works so hard,” Francis said about her impact on this program. “[…] Grace has been one of the reasons our culture and our team is the way that it is right now. She has had a lot of impact on how the team approaches stuff and how they interact with each other.”
With the 24 scores, she is two behind Caroline Kastor (2010-13) and Rachel Gilfillan (2001-04) for moving into a three-way tie for third place all-time. She will have three more regular season road opportunities over the next two weeks to move her way up on that list before heading into the postseason at the end of the month.
Hagan and the rest of her Jayhawk teammates will hit the road for the stretch run of Big 12 play, starting with the Texas Longhorns in Austin on Friday, Oct. 19. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Longhorn Network.
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