Kansas soccer finalizes 2019 schedule


LAWRENCE, Kan. – Three reigning conference champions, nine 2018 NCAA Tournament participants and 15 teams that finished inside the top-100 of the final 2018 RPI rankings is what the 2019 Kansas soccer program will face during its 25th season as the fall schedule was released Wednesday. Fans will have plenty of opportunities to come root on the Jayhawks with 11 home dates scheduled for the fall, which includes four home games against Big 12 opponents.

The Jayhawks are set to play in their state-of-the-art facility at Rock Chalk Park for the sixth season in 2019. Kansas has seen some of the nation’s largest attendance numbers since moving to the facility in 2014. Season tickets for the 2019 season are $50 and will provide general admission seating to all 10 of KU’s regular-season matches.

For the second-straight season, Kansas Athletics will also offer the Rock Chalk Card which includes year-long general admission seating for soccer, women’s basketball, baseball and softball. The Rock Chalk Card includes an option to upgrade to women’s basketball reserved seats. In addition, Junior Jayhawk members receive free admission to all Kansas soccer matches.

Williams Education Fund members earn five points per Rock Chalk Card with a minimum purchase of two cards up to 20 priority points. Fans can purchase the Rock Chalk Card by going to KUAthletics.com and accessing the Tickets tab or by calling the ticket office at 800.34.HAWKS.

The Jayhawks will once again host an exhibition match prior to the start of the regular season. Kansas will welcome in the Omaha Mavericks on Friday, Aug. 16 for a match at 7 p.m. Last year, Omaha finished 8-11-2 and fourth in the Summit League with a 4-3-1 record.

The Kansas coaches have once again constructed a non-conference schedule that is sure to challenge their team over the first five weeks of the season. Five of the Jayhawks’ 10 out-of-conference opponents ended their 2018 campaigns inside the top-65 of the year’s final RPI ranks and includes six teams that finished among the top-three of their respective league’s standings a season ago.

Kansas will face a stiff season-opening test when former Big 12 foe Nebraska comes to Lawrence to kick off 2019. The Cornhuskers are coming off a season that saw them go finish fifth in the Big Ten and post a 9-7-5 overall record. KU and NU will meet for the 24th time and the fourth time since 2015. The Kansas-Nebraska match-up is slated for Thursday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m.

The opening weekend will conclude when Loyola Chicago takes the pitch at Rock Chalk Park on Aug. 25. The Jayhawks will face a Ramblers squad that will be a year removed from Missouri Valley regular-season title and a journey to the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to eventual National Champion Florida State. KU and Loyola will kick off from Rock Chalk Park at 1 p.m.

A formidable foe will await the Jayhawks the following Thursday when they host another 2018 NCAA Tournament participant in the Memphis Tigers. Memphis posted a 17-5-0 record last season and claimed a runner-up finish in the American Athletic Conference before earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks and Tigers will take the pitch at Rock Chalk Park on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.

KU will begin September three days later when Florida Atlantic journeys to Lawrence. The Owls tallied a runner-up finish in Conference USA last season and posted a 12-8-1 overall record. Kansas and FAU will meet for the first time in the programs’ histories on Sept. 1 at 1 p.m.

Kansas will hit the road the following weekend to take part in the Boilermaker Challenge Cup at Purdue’s Folk Field in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Jayhawks will open the weekend with the DePaul Blue Demons on Friday, Sept. 6 with the start time still to be determined. The trip to West Lafayette will conclude with a 1 p.m. (CT) match against the host Purdue on Sept 8. The Jayhawks and Boilermakers will meet for the fifth time with Kansas coming out on top in each of the three previous matches.

The Jayhawks will take on their third Big Ten opponent of the season the following weekend when KU heads to Evanston, Illinois to meet the Northwestern Wildcats. Northwestern posted a 10-5-4 record a year ago and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated in the first round. The Jayhawks and Wildcats will kick off from Martin Stadium on Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. (CT).

Two days later, Kansas head north for a Sunday afternoon match against that Western Michigan Broncos is Kalamazoo, Michigan at 12 p.m. (CT) on Sept. 15. The Broncos are coming off an impressive season that saw them tally 14 wins for the fourth time in program history and post a third-place finish in the Mid-America Conference.

The Jayhawks will return home the following weekend to close out the non-conference portion of their season. First up will be the defending West Coast Conference Champion BYU Cougars. Winners of 13 matches and NCAA Tournament participants a season ago, the Cougars will make just their second journey to Lawrence to meet KU on Thursday, Sept. 19 for a 7 p.m. first touch at Rock Chalk Park.

The final nonconference match of 2019 will feature the first-ever meeting with Kennesaw Stateon Sunday, Sept. 22. The Owls are coming off one of its best seasons in program history a year ago when it posted a 12-6-1 record and finished second in the Atlantic Sun. KU and KSU will square off at Rock Chalk Park at 1 p.m.

The Big 12 Conference schedule again appears to be a gauntlet that will provide the Jayhawks with a challenge in all nine outings. The league has elevated itself to among the top soccer conferences in the nation, seeing five or more of its squads advance to the NCAA Tournament in four of the last five seasons.

Kansas will open league play with a pair of matches inside the friendly confines of Rock Chalk Park. The first will be a Thursday, Sept. 26 match against Texas. The Jayhawks have just one loss against the Longhorns in their last five meetings, with the lone loss coming a year ago in Austin. First touch from Lawrence will be at 7 p.m.

On Sept. 26 the defending Big 12 Champion, Baylor, will come to Rock Chalk Park. Kansas is 5-2-0 in their last seven outings against BU, who has advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight in each of the last two years. First touch for the Jayhawks and Bears is set for 1 p.m.

The month of October will begin with three-straight road matches for the Jayhawks, beginning with a Thursday, Oct. 3 contest at Oklahoma State. KU will look to claim its first win over the Cowgirls in Stillwater since 2004 when the two squads clash at Neal Patterson Stadium at 7 p.m.
Kansas will be back in the Sooner state a week later to take on Oklahoma on Thursday, Oct. 10. The Jayhawks take a four-match unbeaten streak against OU in the game, which is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at John Crain Field.

The first Big 12 road trip will conclude three days later in Lubbock, Texas when KU meets Texas Tech at the John Walker Soccer Complex on Sunday, Oct. 13. The Jayhawks and Red Raiders have been evenly matched in the last three years, with each team tallying a victory to go along with one draw. Kansas will look to pick up its first win in Lubbock since 2011 in the match set for 1 p.m.

The third installment of the soccer edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown will take place in Lawrence on Friday, Oct. 18. KU and K-State split the first two years of the young series, with the Jayhawks securing the win in Manhattan last season. Kickoff from inside Rock Chalk Park is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The West Virginia Mountaineers will be next on the calendar a week later on Thursday, Oct. 24 in Lawrence. KU will look to make it two-straight wins against the squad from Morgantown when it hits the pitch for the 7 p.m., kickoff in the regular-season home finale. The match will serve as Senior Day for six Jayhawk seniors: Eva Eliasdottir, Katie McClure, Sophie Maierhofer, Madison Meador, Addisyn Merrick and Elise Reina.

Another journey to the Lone Star State and another 2018 NCAA Tournament participant will await KU in the TCU Horned Frogs on Sunday, Oct. 27. The Horned Frogs and the Jayhawks will do battle on Oct. 12 at Garvey Rosenthal Stadium in the match set to begin at 1 p.m.

The regular-season finale is set for Thursday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. (CT), when the Jayhawks travel to Ames, Iowa to battle the Iowa State Cyclones. Kansas will take an eight-match unbeaten streak against ISU into the duel Halloween night contest.

The Big 12 Soccer Championship will once again be contested in nearby Kansas City, Missouri. The quarterfinal matches will be held on Sunday, Nov. 3, at Swope Soccer Village. The semifinal matches will follow on Friday, Nov. 8, and the championship match will be held on Sunday, Nov. 10.