⚽ MATCH PREVIEW: at Texas
MATCH 1 – at TEXAS
Date: Friday, Sept. 11
Location: Austin, Texas
Stadium: Mike A. Myers Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m. (CT)
TV: Longhorn Network
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas will begin its 26th season of women’s soccer when the Jayhawks journey to take on the Texas Longhorns in the 2020 opener. Kickoff from Mike A. Myers Stadium is slated for 7 p.m. (CT) and will be broadcast on Longhorn Network.
The Jayhawks return 18 letterwinners and seven starters from the 2019 squad which went 17-5-3, claimed the Big 12 Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16. Mark Francis is entering his 22nd season at the helm in Lawrence and holds a 236-168-37 record with KU and is second among active Big 12 coaches with 269 career coaching victories.
The Jayhawk offense will be looking to fill the void left by All-American Katie McClure, who led the Big 12 with 17 goals a year ago. Senior midfielder Ceri Holland is the Jayhawks’ top-returning goal scorer from last season. The England product netted eight goals and added six assists en route to earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors. Holland was a pick by the league’s coaches to the Preseason All-Big 12 squad.
The KU defense is again to be expected to be stout this year, with the return of several key starters as well as several talented reserves from 2019. In 25 matches last year the Jayhawks boasted a goals-against average of 0.77 and tallied 12 shoutouts. Kansas will carry four keepers on the 2020 roster, with junior Sarah Peters back after starting between the posts for every match the last two seasons. Peters posted 11 shutouts a year ago and collected 88 saves.
Texas enters the new season coming off a 2019 campaign that saw the Longhorns finish with an 11-8-1 overall record and a 6-3-0 mark in the Big 12. UT earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament, where it last to the Texas A&M Aggies, 4-1, in the first round. The team returns 17 letterwinners from a year ago. Texas’ will see the return of its top-two goal scorers in senior Haley Berg and junior Julia Grosso. Both netted eight goals a season ago and accounted for 17 of their squad’s 38 assists. In goal, seniors Nicole Curry and Savannah Madden return after splitting time between the posts in 2019. Together, the two amassed seven shutouts, collected 99 saves and posted a goals-against average of 1.40.
- Kansas will begin its 26th season of women’s soccer when the Jayhawks journey to take on the Texas Longhorns in the 2020 opener. It will be the 28th meeting between the two sides.
- The Jayhawks return 18 letterwinners and seven starters from last year’s squad that finished 17-5-3 and advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. KU notched a fifth-place finish in Big 12 play with a 4-2-3 record before claiming the program’s first Big 12 Tournament Championship.
- This season will feature an abbreviated schedule due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Kansas will play a Big 12-only schedule, with nine matches to be played over nine weeks. The will be no postseason competition at the end of the regular season.
- Senior midfielder Ceri Holland is the Jayhawks’ top-returning goal scorer from last season. The England product netted eight goals and added six assists en route to earning All-Big 12 second team honors. Holland was a pick by the league’s coaches to the Preseason All-Big 12 squad.
- Junior goalkeeper Sarah Peters returns after starting each match in goal for the Jayhawks during her first two seasons in Lawrence. Peters has a career goals-against average of 0.88 and has amassed 20 shutouts, 11 of which came a year ago.
- Kansas expects to see big offensive production from Kansas City transfer Rylan Childers. The junior midfielder out of Grain Valley, Missouri netted 21 goals and added 24 assists in her two seasons with the Roos and was a two-time All-WAC First Team selection.
- Kansas is 12-7-2 in regular-season openers during Mark Francis’ first 20 seasons as head coach and have won their season debut in each of the last two seasons.
The Jayhawks were picked to finish sixth in the Big 12’s preseason poll as voted on by the league’s coaches. KU has finished sixth or better in the league standings all but once over the last eight seasons.
The Jayhawks will welcome the Oklahoma Sooners to Rock Chalk Park for their 2020 home opener on Friday, Sept. 18. KU and OU will kick off from Lawrence at 5 p.m.