MATCH PREVIEW: vs. #20 Memphis
LAWRENCE, Kan. –The No. 18 Kansas Jayhawks (2-0-0) look to continue their hot start to the 2019 season when they welcome the No. 20 Memphis Tigers (2-0-0) to Rock Chalk Park on Thursday, Aug. 29. The match, set for 7 p.m. (CT), will mark the seventh top-25 tilt in Lawrence since 2014. The match will be streamed live via Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Josh Klingler (play-by-play) and Huw Williams (analyst) calling the action.
|Date/Time:||August 29 at 7 p.m.|
|Location||Rock Chalk Park|
|Watch||Big 12 Now on ESPN+|
|Listen||Jayhawk Radio Network|
- Kansas went from unranked to No. 18 in the first regular-season top-25 released by the United Soccer Coaches this week. The Jayhawks have now appeared in the national polls in five of the last six seasons.
- After a torrid start to her senior campaign, senior forward Katie McClure earned national and league accolades following her four-goal, two-assist opening weekend. She was named the Player of the Week by the United Soccer Coaches and the Offensive Player of the Week by the Big 12.
- Statistically, the Jayhawks rank in the top-10 nationally in shutouts (1st, 2), assists per game (7th, 4.5), goals per game (8th, 5.0) and points per game (8th, 14.5).
The Jayhawks’ 10 goals in the opening weekend are the most by a KU team in the first two games of a season.
- Kansas will look to start a season 3-0 for the seventh time in program history and the second-straight year. The record for consecutive wins to start a season is eight and was achieved in 2014.
- Nine different Jayhawks tallied at least a goal or an assist in KU’s first two matches of 2019.
- The Kansas defense has been stout to start the year, posting two clean sheets and allowing only three opponent shots on goal. Since the start of last season, the Jayhawks have tallied 11 shutouts and amassed a goals-against average of 0.95 in 23 matches.
- Kansas is 32-7-3 in matches played in August since the 2008 season and have lost just twice in the opening-month of the season since 2016.
- 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 seven seasons.
- TALKIN’ TOP-25
Following the impressive opening weekend to the Jayhawks’ season, the voters for several national polls showed their appreciation for KU’s work thus far in 2019, moving them from unranked and into the top-25. Kansas made its fifth appearance in six seasons in the United Soccer Coaches’ poll when it posted KU at No. 18 this week. KU’s highest all-time ranking in that poll (formerly the NSCAA Coaches’ poll) was No. 6 during the 2004 season. The Jayhawks also peaked inside the top-10 during their 2014 campaign, climbing as high as No. 9. Last season, Kansas found itself among the top-25 during five weeks, topping out at 18 on Sept. 10.Thursday the Jayhawks will host a battle of two squads ranked inside the NCAA Top-25 for the fifth time since 2014. KU is 1-5-0 in those contests, with the lone win coming last season in a 1-0 win over No. 25 Butler on Sept 2. Kansas is 7-13-2 against nationally-ranked teams over the past three seasons.
- AUGUST RUSH
With the final match of the month set for Thursday, the Jayhawks are looking to continue their trend over the last decade of impressive performances in August. The win over Loyola-Chicago Sunday gave KU its 32nd win in the month of August since 2008.Since that 2008 campaign, the Jayhawks have dropped no more than one result in August, amassing a record of 32-7-3 (.798 winning percentage) during the season’s opening month. The hot start of those Jayhawk teams is made evident by more than just the win-loss column. Including this season, KU has averaged 1.90 goals per game and has amassed a goal differential of +45 in August. The Jayhawks have also posted 20 shutouts in those 41 August outings to go along with a 0.78 goals-against average.
- McCLURE GARNERS NATIONAL, BIG 12 WEEKLY AWARDS
Following a four-goal, two-assist opening two matches of the 2019 regular season, Kansas senior forward Katie McClure earned both national and conference accolades. The United Soccer Coaches named her the National Player of the Week, while the Big 12 awarded her with the Offensive Player of the Week honor. It marked the first National Player of the Week award for McClure, while it was the fifth Big 12 weekly honor in her career and the fourth time she has been named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week.A native of Wichita, Kansas, McClure kicked off her senior year with a bang in helping the Jayhawks to a pair of impressive season-opening victories. In the opener against Nebraska, she netted the first hat trick of her career and added an assist in KU’s 4-0 win over the Cornhuskers. It marked the ninth hat trick in program history and the second in a season-opener.Three days later, McClure again sparked the Jayhawk offense, netting the game’s opening goal in the fourth minute in the Jayhawks’ 6-0 win over Loyola-Chicago. She also added an assist in the victory. McClure’s 10 points, four goals, seven shots, five shots on goal and two game-winning goals are all tops in the Big 12 after the first weekend of action.