⚽ MATCH PREVIEW: NCAA Championship - First Round
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Back for its third trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last four seasons, No. 3-seed Kansas (15-4-3) will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (15-4-1) in first-round action on Saturday, Nov. 16 in Lawrence. The Jayhawks will meet the Hawkeyes in the match set for 5 p.m., at Rock Chalk Park.
- The Jayhawks are 6-8-0 in their eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, which includes KU advancing past the first round on five of those occasions and twice in the last three years.
- In Kansas’ most recent NCAA appearance a season ago, it topped Saint Louis, 2-1, in the opening round before falling to North Carolina, 4-1, in the second round.
- Kansas and Iowa will meet for the third time Saturday but for the first time in 21 years. The Hawkeyes claimed a 5-1 win in Iowa City in the most recent meeting on Sept. 11, 1998.
- The Jayhawks went 7-2-1 at Rock Chalk Park this season and are 16-4-1 on their home pitch over the last two seasons.
- KU is riding a nine-match unbeaten streak, a new program record for consecutive games without a loss. KU’s last loss came at Oklahoma State, 5-2, in Stillwater on Oct. 3.
- Kansas is coming off a 1-0 win over TCU in the Big 12 Championship final on Nov. 10 to earn the Jayhawks’ their first league tournament title in program history. A league-record seven Jayhawks earned All-Tournament team nods for their efforts in the event.
- The Jayhawks’ 10 shutouts on the year are the third-most by a KU team in program history. Kansas also boasts a goals-against average of 0.50 during its nine-game unbeaten streak, having conceded only five goals in that span.
- Senior Katie McClure has scored 14 goals this season, good for second-most in the Big 12 and the second-most by a Jayhawk in program history.
- Since 2014, the Jayhawks are 53-2-2 in matches in which they score two or more goals. This includes a 19-1-1 mark since the start of the 2018 season, with the lone blemish coming in the 5-2 loss to OSU last month.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 3 – The Jayhawks find themselves as a national seed (No. 3) in the NCAA Tournament or the second time in program history and the first time since 2004. The season was also that last time KU found itself in back-to-back NCAA tourneys.
- 5 – Five different Jayhawks netted the five goals KU scored in its three matches of the Big 12 Championship. A total of 12 different Jayhawks have found the back of the net this season.
- 7 – Junior Ceri Holland has scored or assisted in seven-straight matches. The program record for consecutive matches with a point is held by Hilla Rantala when she scored or assisted in nine-straight games in 2001.
The Kansas Jayhawks will make their ninth appearance in the NCAA Championship Sunday when they welcome in the Iowa Hawkeyes for the First Round match. Kansas is 6-8-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament games with its best run coming in 2003 when the Jayhawks advanced to the Sweet 16, where they fell to UCLA, 1-0, in Los Angeles. Kansas has advanced past the first round in five of its eight appearances and each of its last two trips to the NCAA tourney.
Kansas is making its second-straight appearance in the Big Dance. Last year, KU welcomed Saint Louis for its second meeting of the season at Rock Chalk Park. KU’s Katie scored the golden goal in the second overtime to hand the Jayhawks a 2-1 win.
Kansas has history on its side as the No. 5 seed. The fifth-seeded team has claimed the Championship title twice in the last four years and three times in the last 10 years. Only the No. 2 seed has claimed the trophy more (four times) in that span.
HOME SWEET HOME
Rock Chalk Park has been a welcome site for the Jayhawks in recent years as KU is enjoying a successful four-year stint playing on its home turf. The Jayhawks are 7-2-1 in Lawrence this season and 37-16-3 (.685) in matches played at home during the regular season since the start of the 2014 campaign. From 2013-14, Kansas also enjoyed an 11-match home winning streak, the longest in program history.
Since moving into Rock Chalk Park, Kansas has built a goal differential of +42 and boasts a goals-against average of 0.91, a number that includes 20 shutouts.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP LEFTOVERS
- Kansas topped West Virginia (2-0), No. 10 Oklahoma State (2-1) and TCU (1-0) to claim the programs’ first Big 12 Championship title on Nov. 10 in Kansas City.
- Five different Jayhawks scored the team’s five goals netted during the tournament.
- Kansas became the fifth team seed No. 5 or lower to win the Big 12 Tournament in the 24 years of the event. It was the third time since the No. 5 seed as won the title since 2015.
- The victory also marked Kansas’ ninth-consecutive unbeaten result, which set a new program record. KU’s last loss came on Oct. 3 to Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
- The 1-0 win marked the 10th time in the 11 matches between KU and TCU that was decided by one goal or less (ties). The Jayhawks are 2-0-2 in their last four matches against the Horned Frogs.
- Seven Jayhawks were named to the All-Tournament team after the championship’s conclusion, the most ever by a single school in Big 12 history. Sarah Peters was also named the tournament’s Defensive Most Outstanding Player.
The winner of the Kansas-Iowa contest will play the winner of the Virginia Tech-Xavier match on Friday, Nov. 22 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The match will be hosted by the highest-seeded advancing team among the No. 3 Jayhawks and No. 2 South Carolina. If the Jayhawks win each of their first two matches, they will then play in the third-round game on Sunday, Nov. 24.