MATCH PREVIEW: at No. 25 Oklahoma State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The third top-25 tilt of KU’s 2019 season is set for Thursday, Oct. 3 when the No. 21 Jayhawks (9-3-0) travel to take on No. 25 Oklahoma State (7-1-3) in Stillwater. Kickoff is set from 7 p.m., on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
|Date/Time:||Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.|
|Opponent||#25 Oklahoma State|
|Location||Stillwater, Okla. (Neal Patterson Stadium)|
|Watch||Big 12 Now on ESPN+|
|Listen||Jayhawk Radio Network|
- Kansas is coming off a 4-1 victory over the Baylor Bears on Sunday in Lawrence. Junior Mandi Duggan tallied a brace will Katie McClure added a pair of assists in the win.
- Kansas is 8-14-2 against ranked foes since 2016, with seven of those losses coming against teams inside the top-10. Prior to this recent run, the Jayhawks managed just six victories over top-25 teams from 2010-15.
- Kansas was slotted at No. 13 in the season’s second Rating Percentage Index (RPI) released by the NCAA this week. It marked the first times since 2014 that the Jayhawks were slotted in the top-15 of the RPI in back-to-back weeks.
- The Jayhawks will be searching for their first victory in Stillwater since 2004 on Thursday. The Cowgirls have won seven-straight matches over Kansas on their home pitch dating back to 2006.
- Kansas fell four spots in the latest United Soccer Coaches’ poll. At No. 21, the Jayhawks were slotted in the top-25 for the sixth-straight week, their longest such stint since 2014.
- Since 2014, the Jayhawks are 49-1-1 in matches in which they score two or more goals, this includes a 15-0-0 mark since the start of the 2018 season.
- Ten different Jayhawks have scored a goal this season. McClure leads the team with nine goals, which ranks her 10th in the NCAA.
- McClure’s nine goals are the most by a Jayhawk through her first 12 games of a season since 2003, when Caroline Smith netted 11 goals in her first 12 outings en route to posting 19 that season.
- The KU defense has amassed a goals-against average of 0.67 after its first 12 outings, a number that ranks the Jayhawks third in the Big 12.
Staying on defense, the KU backline has held its first 12 opponents to an average of 9.3 shots per game, which includes five matches when the Jayhawks conceded five or fewer opponent shots.
- BOUNCING BACK
Before Kansas soccer even hit the pitch for its first match of the season, the Jayhawks knew they would be in for a gauntlet of a schedule in 2019. The 2019 Jayhawks’ slate, which currently sits as the 28th-toughest in all of NCAA DI, features nine teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament a year ago as well as three reigning conference champions. The Jayhawks, sitting at 9-3-0 after their first 12 games of the season, have played or will play six teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the most recent United Soccer Coaches’ top-25 poll. That number includes two squads inside the top-10. The Jayhawks have already played a pair top-25 teams over the first six weeks of the season – No. 20 Memphis (W, 2-1) and No. 7 BYU (L, 0-2) and will take on their third Thursday in No. 25 Oklahoma State. It appears as though KU will face several more battles with top-25 teams this season with the bulk of Big 12 Conference play still to come. The conference currently features five teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the Coaches’ poll and that includes No. 18 Texas Tech and No. 25 Oklahoma State.
- SPREADING THE WEALTH
The KU offense has shown to be a tough assignment for opposing defenses this year after a host of Jayhawks have made their presence known on the stat sheet. Thirteen different Jayhawks have had their hand in at least one of the team’s goals thus far in 2019, either scoring or assisting. A total of seven players have managed to tally double-digit shots. This is a trend that has been carried over from last year’s squad which was also an unselfish bunch, as 11 different Jayhawks tallied at least one goal or assist in 2018.
- RPI REVIEW
With the release of the season’s second official Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) report by the NCAA this week, several good signs stick out for the Jayhawks. Kansas checked in at No. 13 on the list that takes numerous factors into account including strength of schedule, record against top-50 teams and home versus road record. In the first report released last week, KU was slotted at No. 8, it’s highest to start the year since the weekly RPI report became public in 2011. This week’s report shows that the Big 12 is among the nation’s toughest conferences after the conclusion of nonconference play. The league tallied the fourth-highest ranking in the week’s RPI and boasts eight of its 10 teams inside the top-65. The conference’s high ranking also means the Jayhawks will get plenty of chances to up their national standing as each of their next three contests will be against teams currently ranked inside the top-50 of the RPI.
Kansas will continue its road stint next weekend when it heads south for a pair of league contests. The trip will begin with the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman on Thursday, Oct. 10 in a 7 p.m. start. Three days later, the Jayhawks will take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock on Oct. 13. Kickoff from John Walker Soccer Complex is slated for 1 p.m.