⚽️ Kansas to Host Drake Thursday in 2021 Season Opener
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas (0-0-0) opens the 2021 regular season when its plays host to Drake (0-0-0) on Thursday, August 19, at 7 p.m., at Rock Chalk Park. The contest will be televised on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Dave Stewart and Doug McLagen calling the action.
Picked sixth in the 2021 Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll, Kansas began the season with a 2-1 exhibition win against Kansas City on August 13, at Rock Chalk Park. Freshman Maggie Gagné and sophomore Moira Kelley each scored goals for Kansas in the victory. KU outshot the Roos 29-1 for the match.
Picked seventh in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll as voted on by the league coaches, Drake is coming off a 2-3-2 season in which it only played Missouri Valley Conference games. The Bulldogs played all seven matches in the spring and bounced back from an 0-2-0 start to go 2-1-2 in their final five games. Drake finished tied for sixth in the nine team MVC.
Drake is coached by former Kansas two-sport athlete Lindsey Horner who played soccer and basketball at KU. Horner was a four-year soccer letter winner at KU from 1997-2000 and was named the Jayhawks’ most valuable offensive player in 2000 where she had four goals and two assists for KU. In basketball, Horner lettered the 1997-98 season where she played in four games. A 2000 soccer Academic All-Big 12 selection, Horner graduated from KU in 2002 with an exercise science degree with an emphasis in sports management.
Kansas returns 12 starters from the 2020-21 team with six having started 10 or more matches. Seniors Sarah Peters (goalkeeper), forward (F) Kailey Lane, defender (D) Kaela Hansen, Grace Wiltgen (D) and midfielder (M) Rylan Childers and sophomores Kate Dreyer (M) and Moria Kelley (D) all started 10 or more contests last season. Peters, Hansen, Wiltgen, Childers and Kelley started all 13 matches for Kansas.
Other KU regulars who from 2020-21 include juniors Ellie Prybylski (D/F, seven starts) and Mya Sheridan (F, one start), sophomores Brie Severns (F, six starts), Avery Smith (M, five starts), Shira Elinav (M, four starts) and Mackenzie Boeve (D, four starts) and seniors Italia Bradley (D, two starts) and Samantha Barnett (M, three starts). Kansas has six newcomers on its roster with each being freshmen.
Prior to the Drake contest, Peters will receive the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award – the Big 12 Conference’s highest academic honor. Peters was one of 18 KU student-athletes named to the honor in March 2021.
Kansas will host Wisconsin on Sunday, August 22, at 1 p.m. at Rock Chalk Park. Wisconsin opens its season at Kansas City August 19 and went 7-4-3 last year. The match will be televised on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and will be one of four “Bark in the Park” contests in 2021.