RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.5 (Soccer)
38′ GOOOOAAALLL!!! Sophie Maierhofer sends one home after some great KU passing inside the TTU box.
— Kansas Soccer (@KUWSoccer) September 24, 2017
A post shared by Kansas Women’s Soccer (@kansassoccer) on Sep 23, 2017 at 11:19am PDT
After a quick start to the 2017 campaign, the Jayhawks have hit a bit of a rough patch over the last three weeks, and nothing demonstrates this fact better than comparing the team’s first six matches with its six most recent. The team began the year with five victories in its first six outings, but the team that took the field the last six times is winless. The difference in squads over those two periods of the 2017 season is apparent by much more than just looking at wins and losses.
In its first six matches, the Kansas defense was almost unbreakable, conceding only four goals and amassing an opponent scoreless streak of over 450 minutes. KU was allowing only 10 opponent shots per match and only 43 percent of those were ending on goal. Since then though, Kansas’ defense has struggled. In their six most recent games, the Jayhawks allowed 13 goals, which included three matches with multiple shots finding the back of the net. KU opponents have also averaged 17.5 shots per game over the last six contests, a seven-shot increase compared to the first half of the season.
The recent struggles may largely be attributed to a brutal stretch that the Jayhawks have been forced to endure since the calendar turned to September. Through this weekend’s journey to Iowa State, KU will have spent 14 of the month’s 29 days on the road. The Jayhawks’ opponents in September have been anything but a breeze either, with KU’s last seven foes boasting a combined record of 14-15-9.
Kansas is primed to breakout of this current lull however, with three of its next four matches to be played inside the friendly confines of Rock Chalk Park.