⚽️ Kansas Battles Vanderbilt to 1-1 Draw in Home Opener

LAWRENCE, Kan. ­– On a hot Thursday night at Rock Chalk Park, Kansas and Vanderbilt played to a 1-1 draw in the home opener for the Jayhawks. Senior Moira Kelley scored her first career goal on a free kick from the midfield circle. The game was pushed back to a 9 p.m. CT kickoff due to excessive heat.

After a scoreless first half, Kelley’s goal gave Kansas a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute. The Jayhawks held that lead until the final minute of the game when Vanderbilt’s Addie Porter put a header in the back of the net to tie it up with 57 seconds remaining in the match.

“I thought at times today we played really well,” Head Coach Mark Francis said. “I told the girls that today we should be more in sync and more fluid with it being our third game and we definitely were at times. I thought they were chasing shadows a little bit sometimes. Also, they had some very good attacks as well. They’re a good team. I thought the girls played hard. It’s a good performance by us against a very good team just like against Wisconsin.”

The Jayhawks had a couple opportunities to extend their lead in the second half, but they were unable to convert. In the 65th minute, sophomore Lexi Watts crossed a ball to the center of the box for freshman Siera Herbert that she narrowly missed redirecting into the net. Then, in the 79th minute, junior Raena Childers had a ball deflected to her in the box that she put past the goalkeeper but it ultimately ended up being offsides.

Super-senior goalkeeper Melania Pasar, who was named Goalkeeper of the Week by TopDrawerSoccer and the Big 12, had five saves in the match. She is now up to 17 saves on the season, which leads the conference.

Vanderbilt (1-0-2) held a 17-6 advantage on shots, including a 6-3 edge for shots on goal. Watts led the Jayhawks with two shots, one of which was on goal.

Kansas is now 15-7-3 in home openers during Francis’ tenure, including a 3-1-2 mark in the last six seasons. KU is 16-10-3 all-time in home openers and 4-4-2 at Rock Chalk Park.

Kansas (1-0-2) continues its four-game stretch of home matches on Sunday against Colorado College. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Season tickets and individual tickets for the 2023 season are on sale now. Season tickets cost only $55 and includes all nine regular season home matches at Rock Chalk Park. Single-game and season tickets can be purchased here or by calling the Kansas ticket office at 785-864-3141. Single-game tickets will also be available to purchase at the ticket window at Rock Chalk Park on gamedays, beginning one hour prior to kickoff.