Jayhawk offense sharp in 7-0 win over Sporting Blue Valley
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas offense was striking on all cylinders as the Jayhawks earned a 7-0 win over the Sporting Blue Valley U14 boys team Wednesday night in spring exhibition play at Rock Chalk Park. Juniors Eva Eliasdottir and Katie McClure each scored a pair of goals in the win, helping extend KU’s spring exhibition unbeaten streak to 15 games, which dates back to 2017.
The Jayhawks wasted little time in scoring the game’s first goal less than six minutes after the opening whistle, and fittingly it came of the squad’s hottest foot of the spring, KU’s Icelandic forward, Eliasdottir. The junior was in the right place at the right time after forward Samantha Barnett’s shot was blocked back into the center of the box by the Sporting BV keeper. Eliasdottir fired the loose ball into the back to give her team the early 1-0 lead.
Just 15 minutes later, Kansas struck again, this time off the foot of junior defender, Elise Reina. The Fayetteville, Arkansas native found space near the top-left corner of the Sporting box and fired a shot that slipped inside the far post.
The Jayhawks struck again during the opening minute of the second half to take a 3-0 lead. Addisyn Merrick sent in a shot from the right wing that slammed off the far post. The rebound went right to a diving Katie McClure who headed it into the side netting for her first goal of the spring campaign.
Sophie Maierhofer joined the offensive eruption in the 52nd minute. The Swiss international let loose a shot from nearly 20 yards out that found the inside of the top-right corner of the Sporting frame.
Eliasdottir completed her second brace in as many games three minutes later when McClure found her on a pass into the middle of the 18-yard box. She took one touch to evade a defender before putting in her second goal of the match and fifth goal in three spring outings.
In the 56th minute, McClure also secured a multi-goal outing after she beat a defender on the right edge of the box before shooting it past the keeper just inside the near post and sent it in near post.
Freshman Bri Amos netted the Jayhawks’ final goal of the night in the 77thminute. Fellow freshman Italia Bradley sent in a shot from 15 yards out that the Sporting keeper was able to save, however the rebound once again went to the foot of a Jayhawk. Amos needed little time to score on the open net, putting her first goal of the spring.
The Jayhawks closed out the 7-0 win just over ten minutes later, KU’s second shutout of the spring.
Head coach Mark Francis
On the team’s offensive production:
“We scored some good goals today. I thought the service from wide was pretty consistent. A couple of them we got from following the ball up and getting a rebound, which was good. We scored one from a little bit further out. So we had a little bit of everything. The girls really did a good job of just keeping it simple. We talked about playing two-touch, keeping the ball moving and just staying simple, and I thought they did that. They played with a great rhythm today.”
On the defensive efficiency so far this spring:
“We’ve obviously got a lot of experience in the back so we really haven’t worked on defending a whole lot this spring. We’ve got girls back there that have been playing for three years and they just understand each other and what we’re doing in this system so the defense is looking pretty efficient right now.”
The third match of spring play is set for Monday, April 15 when the Jayhawks meet the Sporting Blue Valley Boys again, this time a mixed squad of the U14 and U15 teams. First touch from Rock Chalk Park is set for 7 p.m.