⚽️ Kansas Draws at Wisconsin in Season Opener
MADISON, Wis. – The Kansas Jayhawks opened the 2023 season with a 0-0 draw against Wisconsin on Thursday at McClimon Track/Soccer Complex. Super-senior goalkeeper Melania Pasar had a career-high nine saves in the match.
The biggest save of the game for Pasar came during the 43rd minute. After a handball in the box, Wisconsin was awarded a penalty kick. Pasar made a diving save to her left to keep the game tied at 0-0.
“A really gutsy performance by us,” Head Coach Mark Francis said. “We got a lot of good minutes from our young kids. For your first college game to come out and play against [Wisconsin] and the way the game was and have to really grit it out, I think for our young guys that showed a lot of character. This group, I told them if they come out and compete like that, the soccer part will come. I’m not worried about that with as many new faces as we have. The fact that we came out and made a decision to compete, that’s going to carry us a long way. I’m really proud of the group today.”
All 11 starters for Kansas logged at least 60 minutes in the match. Freshman Siera Herbert also added 48 minutes off the bench.
Wisconsin, who returned 10 starters from a season ago, held a 23-7 advantage on shots, including a nine to five edge on shots on goal. Junior Magali Gagné, sophomore Lexi Watts and Herbert all had two shots in the match. Both of Watts’ shots were on target.
Kansas is now 13-8-4 in regular season openers during Francis’ 25-year tenure as head coach, including a 3-1-2 mark in the last six seasons. KU is 14-11-4 all-time in season openers. The 0-0 draw marked the second time in three seasons with a scoreless draw to begin the season.
Kansas (0-0-1) will remain on the road as the Jayhawks head to Chicago to play Loyola-Chicago on Sunday, Aug. 20. The match is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT at Loyola Soccer Park and will be broadcast on ESPN+.