KU Soccer Announces 2016 Schedule
|2016 Kansas Soccer Schedule|
|Aug. 9||Butler (Exh.)||11 a.m.|
|Aug. 12||Creighton (Exh.)||7 p.m.|
|Aug. 19||Minnesota||5 p.m.|
|Aug. 21||Marquette||7 p.m.|
|Aug. 26||Colorado||7 p.m.|
|Aug. 28||at South Dakota State||1 p.m.|
|Sept. 2||at Nebraska||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 4||vs. Valparaiso||10 a.m.|
|Sept. 9||Pittsburgh||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 11||at UMKC||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 16||at Southern California||5 p.m.|
|Sept. 18||at Pepperdine||3 p.m.|
|Sept. 23||Texas Tech*||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 30||at TCU*||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 2||at Texas*||1 p.m.|
|Oct. 7||West Virginia*||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 9||Oklahoma State*||1 p.m.|
|Oct. 21||at Oklahoma*||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 23||at Baylor*||1 p.m.|
|Oct. 28||Iowa State*||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 2-6||Big 12 Championship||TBA|
Home Games in BOLD
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The countdown to the start of the 2016 Kansas soccer season can officially begin as the Jayhawks released their 2016 schedule Tuesday morning. The 2016 slate includes a host of tough tests from some of the top conferences in the country and includes six teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last season. Fans will also have plenty of opportunities to come root on the Jayhawks with 10 home dates scheduled for the fall.
The Jayhawks are set to play in their state-of-the-art facility at Rock Chalk Park for the third season in 2016. Kansas smashed its single-season attendance record for the second-straight year in 2015 and will look to up that mark again with 10 home matches this fall. Tickets for the 2016 Kansas soccer season are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets 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 a pair of exhibition matches prior to the start of the regular season. Both friendlies feature opponents out of the Big East and will be held in Lawrence at Rock Chalk Park the week prior to Kansas’ first regular-season match. Kansas will first welcome in the defending Big East Conference Champion, Butler Bulldogs, on Aug. 9 for a match at 11 a.m. Three days later, Creighton will hit the pitch at Rock Chalk Park for Kansas’ final tune-up match. The Jayhawks and Bluejays will kick off on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.
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 2015 campaigns inside the top-75 of the year’s final RPI ranks and includes three teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The difficulty of KU’s non-conference schedule will be dialed up a notch as Kansas will play six of its final seven non-conference matches away from home.
“I think the non-conference schedule is going to be very challenging,” said head coach Mark Francis. “We play teams from some of the top conferences in the country, which will help prepare us for a very competitive Big 12 schedule.”
Kansas will kick off the year with three-straight matches inside the friendly confines of Rock Chalk Park. The Jayhawks will open the year against Minnesota on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m., in Lawrence. The Gophers and Jayhawks played to a 0-0 draw in Minneapolis last season before Minnesota went on to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks will then welcome in Marquette for an Aug. 21 date in Lawrence. The Jayhawks will look to get some payback against the visitors, as Marquette ended Kansas’ program record eight-game winning streak when the two teams met in 2014. Kickoff from Rock Chalk Park is set for 1 p.m.
The following weekend the Jayhawks will welcome in former Big 12 foe Colorado on Aug. 28. The Jayhawks topped the Buffaloes in Boulder in their most recent meeting two seasons ago in a thrilling overtime victory and will look to duplicate that result on their home pitch.
South Dakota State will serve as KU’s first road contest of 2016 when the Jackrabbits host the Jayhawks in Brookings to close out the month of August. KU and SDSU will meet for the fifth time in eight seasons and the second time at the Jackrabbits’ home pitch. Kansas is sure to have its hands full as South Dakota State is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance and a 12-win 2015 campaign.
Kansas will open the month of September on the road at another former Big 12 opponent. For the second-straight year the Jayhawks will journey to Barbara Hibner Stadium to take on the Nebraska. Kansas will try to avenge its first loss of 2015 when it takes on the Cornhuskers on Sept. 2 for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Jayhawks will remain in Lincoln two days later for an outing against the Valparaiso Crusaders. KU and Valpo will go head-to-head for the first time in the programs’ histories on Sept. 4 at 10 a.m.
After three-straight games on the road, Kansas will return to Lawrence to host Pittsburgh on Sept. 9. The Panthers are coming off their best season in program history in 2015 and will take on the Jayhawks for the first time when the two squads meet inside Rock Chalk Park for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Two days later, the Jayhawks will journey 30 minutes down I-70 to meet the UMKC Kangaroos in Kansas City. Kickoff is set for Sept. 11 from Durwood Stadium at 7 p.m.
KU will close out the non-conference schedule with a trip to the West Coast. Kansas will start the weekend in Los Angeles for a 9 p.m. (CT) match against USC. The Trojans advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season after turning in 15 wins and finishing second in the Pac-12. Malibu will be the next destination for the Jayhawks on Sept. 18 when KU takes on Pepperdine. The Jayhawks and Waves will hit the pitch for a 1 p.m. (CT) kickoff.
“Our two non-conference trips to Nebraska’s tournament and to California will both be good tests for us prior to conference play,” said Francis. “Playing on the road presents unique challenges which will prepare us for conference road games, especially the two-game weekend at Oklahoma and Baylor.”
The Big 12 Conference schedule again appears to be a gauntlet that will provide the Jayhawks with a challenge in all eight outings. The league has elevated itself to among the top soccer conferences in the nation, finishing with the NCAA’s fourth-highest RPI ranking in 2015 and sending multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament for the 20th-straight year.
“The Big 12 looks to be extremely tight as usual,” said Francis. “A lot of the teams, including ourselves, are adding a lot of firepower in their 2016 class, so competition will be intense.”
The Jayhawks will open conference play at 7 p.m., on Sept. 23 in Lawrence when they welcome the Texas Tech Red Raiders to Rock Chalk Park. Kansas will no doubt be looking for revenge after TTU upended the Jayhawks in the Big 12 Championship title game in 2015.
After the Friday-night bout with the Red Raiders, KU will hit the road for back-to-back road matches the following weekend in the Lone Star State. The trip will start with a visit to Fort Worth, Texas on Sept. 30 to take on the TCU Horned Frogs. After a draw in Lawrence last season, Kansas will try to pick up its third win in as many tries at the TCU pitch in the match set to kick off at 7 p.m. The Jayhawks will then head south to Austin for a 1 p.m., contest against the Texas Longhorns on Oct. 2.
Back-to-back home matches await the Jayhawks the following weekend with West Virginia and Oklahoma State heading to Lawrence. On Oct. 7 the three-time defending conference champion Mountaineers will go up against KU at Rock Chalk Park in a 7 p.m., start. Two days later, Kansas and Oklahoma State will renew their rivalry. The two teams, who will hit the pitch for a 1 p.m., kickoff, have traded wins in their last four outings.
KU will begin its final road trip of 2016 on Oct. 21 in Norman against the Oklahoma Sooners before the Jayhawks head to Waco for an Oct. 23 date against the Baylor Bears. Kansas topped both squads in thrilling fashion last season, including a 2-0 victory over the Bears in the Big 12 Championship semifinal.
The regular-season finale is set for Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., when the Iowa State Cyclones invade Lawrence. The match will serve as Senior Night for seven Jayhawks seniors: Tayler Estrada, Aurelie Gagnet, Jackie Georgoulis, Hanna Kallmaier, Ashley Pankey, Kaley Smith and Morgan Williams.
“In the Big 12 portion of the season, we need to be more consistent than we were last year and finish off games,” explained Francis. “We have to win our home games and hopefully snag a couple of road wins also.”
For the fourth-straight year, Swope Park Soccer Village will serve as the venue for the Big 12 Championship to be held Nov. 2-6 in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas advanced to the conference championship game in 2015.
“I’m really excited about this team,” concluded Francis. “We had an excellent spring and made huge strides in many areas on and off the field. The incoming freshmen are an extremely talented group and we anticipate many of them making an immediate impact. I’m hoping that having them here this summer will make the transition smoother for them as we enter preseason starting on August 2nd.”
KANSAS SOCCER GROUP EXPERIENCE
Whether you’re looking to bring out your youth team to a game or planning an alumni reunion, a corporate outing or just a gathering of friends, there’s no better way to spend a few hours than with Kansas Soccer! Gather your group of 10 or more and share unforgettable memories with your family, friends, and co-workers at Rock Chalk Park. Below you will find a number of group experiences for the upcoming season to make your group event even more special! For more information on group outings and experiences, please contact the Sales and Service office at 785-864-6216.
- Post-game penalty kicks
- Ball kids
- Halftime scrimmage
- Walk of Champions
- Coach meet/greet
- And MORE!
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