MATCH PREVIEW: vs. Texas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 17 Kansas Jayhawks (8-2-0) are set to begin Big 12 play when they host the Texas Longhorns (5-4-0) at Rock Chalk Park on Thursday, Sept. 26. The match will be broadcast on FS1 with Brenda Vanlengen (play-by-play) and Jessica Stamp (analyst) set to call the action.
|Date/Time:||Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.|
|Location||Rock Chalk Park|
|Listen||Jayhawk Radio Network|
- The Jayhawks will begin their 24th season of Big 12 play when Texas comes to town Thursday. Kansas is 9-12-2 in conference openers and 13-6-1 in Big 12 home openers.
- Kansas is coming off a 3-1 win over Kennesaw State in Lawrence Sunday in the nonconference finale. Katie McClure tallied the fifth multi-goal match of her career in the win.
- Kansas was slotted at No. 8 in the season’s first Rating Percentage Index (RPI) released by the NCAA this week. It marked the highest RPI ranking for the Jayhawks since the weekly RPI became public in 2011.
- Kansas fell three spots in the latest United Soccer Coaches’ poll. At No. 17, the Jayhawks were slotted in the top-20 for the fifth-straight week, their longest such stint since 2014.
- The 2019 Jayhawks joined three other KU teams to claim at least eight wins over the first 10 matches of a season. Each of those previous three teams went on to win at least 15 games and earn bids to the NCAA Tournament.
- Kansas is 35-15-2 in regular-season home games since 2014, which includes a 14-3-0 mark since the start of 2018.
- Eight different Jayhawks have scored a goal this season. McClure leads the team with nine goals, which ranks her fourth in the NCAA.
- McClure’s nine goals are the most by a Jayhawk through her first 10 games of a season since 2003, when Caroline Smith netted 11 goals in her first 10 outings en route to posting 19 that season.
- The KU defense has amassed a goals-against average of 0.60 after its first 10 outings, a number that ranks the Jayhawks second in the Big 12 and 25th in the NCAA.
- Staying on defense, the KU backline has held its first 10 opponents to an average of 8.8 shots per game, which includes five matches when the Jayhawks conceded five or fewer opponent shots.
- STARTING BIG 12 OFF WITH A BANG
While one game is not enough to determine the outcome of an entire season, for the Jayhawks, the Big 12 opener has been a strong indicator of how Kansas will fair in the conference over past seasons. In the last 20 years, the Jayhawks have claimed victory in their league opener on eight occasions. In those eight years, KU went on to post winning Big 12 records and finished in the top-four of the league table five times.On the other hand, in the 10 occasions Kansas lost its conference opener, the Jayhawks finished with a winning record and were among the top-four just twice. This weekend, history is on KU’s side as its kicks off league play in the friendly confines of Rock Chalk Park. During Mark Francis’ tenure, the Jayhawks are 13-6-1 in Big 12 home openers.
- RPI REVIEW
With the release of the first Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) report by the NCAA this week, several good signs stick out for the Jayhawks. Kansas checked in at No. 8 on the list that takes numerous factors into account including strength of schedule, record against top-50 teams and home versus road record. The ranking was Kansas’ 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 seven 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 four of their next five contests will be against teams currently ranked inside the top-50 of the RPI.
- LET’S GET DEFENSIVE
The Jayhawks’ impressive early performances this season put this year’s KU squad among just a handful of Kansas teams that have gotten their seasons off to a fast start. The win over Kennesaw State Sunday made this KU team one of four to tally eight or more victories through the first 10 games of a season.The Jayhawks’ early success bodes well for the bunch, as all three of those previous KU teams went on to make the NCAA Tournament and posted 15 or more victories. In each of those seasons, Kansas logged top-three finishes in the final Big 12 standings, including a league title in 2004.
The Jayhawks will return to the pitch at Rock Chalk Park on Sunday, Sept. 29 when they meet the defending Big 12 Champion Baylor Bears at 1 p.m. The contest will be streamed via Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Josh Klingler (play-by-play) and Huw Williams (analyst) calling the action.