⚽ 2019 Kansas Soccer In Review
17-5-3 (4-2-3 Big 12)
2019 Big 12 Tournament Champion | NCAA Tournament – Third Round
The 25th season of Kansas soccer will be one that is not soon forgotten. A Big 12 Tournament Championship, a run of 11 unbeaten results, the league’s defensive player of the year, an All-American and a run to the NCAA Sweet 16 will insert this team as one of the best in the program’s young but impressive history.
The Season at a Glance
- Kansas finished the 25th season of women’s soccer with 17 wins, the second-most by a Jayhawk team.
- The Jayhawks claimed the program’s first Big 12 Tournament Championship with a 1-0 win over TCU at the event held in Kansas City.
- Senior forward Katie McClure became the fifth Jayhawk to earn All-America status, being named to the Third Team by the United Soccer Coaches. McClure is the first KU player to be named an All-American since Liana Salazar in 2014.
- McClure scored 17 goals this season, good for eighth in the NCAA and second-most by a Jayhawk in program history.
- Senior defender Addisyn Merrick became the second Jayhawk to be named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. She, along with McClure, also were named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Ceri Holland was a Second Team pick.
- McClure, Merrick and Holland were also named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Region team. McClure and Merrick were First Team selections, while Holland was named to the Third Team.
- The Jayhawks earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season the program’s ninth overall. KU made its second all-time appearance in the third round and its first since 2003.
- KU’s final win of 2019 came in a 3-0 victory over the Xavier Musketeers in the second round of the NCAA Tournamen in Columbia, S.C. Senior Katie McClure posted a hat trick, her second of the season, in the win.
- Prior to its season-ending loss to South Carolina, KU posted an 11-match unbeaten streak, a new program record for consecutive games without a loss. Prior to the loss on Nov. 24, the Jayhawks’ previous loss came at Oklahoma State, 5-2, in Stillwater on Oct. 3.
- Kansas nearly went unbeaten on its 11 Sunday matches this season. The Jayhawks boasted an 8-1-2 mark, a +16 goal differential (23-7), a 0.62 goals-against average and six shutouts on Sundays this year.
- The Jayhawks’ 12 shutouts on the year were the second-most by a KU team in program history. Kansas also boasted a goals-against average of 0.42 during its 11-game unbeaten streak, conceding only five goals in that span.
- The Kansas defense posted an opponent scoreless streak of 441 minutes over a five-game span in November. It ranked as the fourth-longest such streak in program history. The Jayhawks have now posted six opponent scoreless streaks of 300 minutes or longer over the last five years, including two in 2019.
- Since 2014, the Jayhawks are 54-2-2 in matches in which they score two or more goals. This includes a 20-1-1 mark since the start of the 2018 season, with the lone blemish coming in the 5-2 loss to OSU in October of 2019.
The Kansas Jayhawks made their ninth appearance in the NCAA Championship and their second in the third round when they met South Carolina. Kansas is now 8-9-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament. Kansas has now advanced past the first round in six of its nine appearances and each of its last three trips to the NCAA tourney.
Kansas also made 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 then fell to No. 1-seed North Carolina in the second round, 4-1.
RECORD BOOK REVIEW
Several Jayhawks moved their names up on the program’s all-time career and single-season records chart. Here are some of the notable players who made waves in the KU record book:
- Team: The 2019 Jayhawks secured 17 wins, the second-most in program history. KU’s 45 goals ranked as the fourth-most by a Jayhawk squad. The team’s six-game winning streak was also the third-longest in program history. KU’s 441-minute opponent scoreless streak was the fourth-longest by a Jayhawk team.
- Katie McClure: The senior forward ranks in the top-two of the KU career charts in points (94 – 2nd) and goals (39 – 2nd) and in the top-three on the single-season charts in points (43 – 1st), goals (17 – 2nd), game-winning goals (7 – 1st) and shots (100 – 1st).
- Addisyn Merrick: The senior defender is now first in the single-season minutes list, now with 2,278 on the year. She also is now the record holder on the career minutes list, having logged 7,630 minutes over the last four seasons.
- Sarah Peters: The sophomore goalkeeper collected 17 wins between the posts for KU this season, the third-most in program history. Her goals-against average of 0.75 was the third-lowest by a Jayhawk keeper. Peters’ 11 shutouts tied for the school record mark and were the most by a Jayhawk goalkeeper since 2004.
McCLURE NAMED 2019 ALL-AMERICAN
Kansas senior Katie McClure was named to the All-America Third Team when the United Soccer Coaches announced their 2019 honorees. The honor marked the first time in McClure’s career that she was named to an All-America list and the sixth time a Jayhawk has been tabbed an All-American.
McClure, a native of Wichita, Kansas, finished off her 2019 campaign with a career-high 17 goals, a figure which led the Big 12 and was the second-most ever by Jayhawk in a single season. The senior forward also tallied a career-high nine assists to add to her yearly point total of 43, which also led the conference.
She joined an impressive list of Jayhawks to be named to All-America teams. Defender Holly Gault (2003-06) was a first-team selection in 2004, goalkeeper Meghan Miller (2001-04) was picked to the second team in 2004, forward Caroline Smith (2002-05) was a two-time selection to the third team in 2003 and 2004, and Liana Salazar (2012-16), who claimed third-team honors in 2015.
THREE JAYHAWKS CLAIM All-REGION HONORS
Kansas seniors Katie McClure and Addisyn Merrick, as well as junior Ceri Holland were named to the Midwest All-Region teams by the United Soccer Coaches. McClure and Merrick each earned spots on the All-Region First Team for the first time in their careers, while Holland also claimed All-Region honors for the first time after being slated to the second team.
The announcement marked just the second time that three or more Jayhawks earned spots on the All-Region teams. Following the 2004 season, Holly Gault, Meghan Miller, Caroline Smith and Amy Geha all were selected for regional teams.
Kansas soccer senior Addisyn Merrick was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was one of three Jayhawks to be named to the All-Big 12 teams when the league office announced its postseason awards Tuesday.
In addition to Merrick’s Player of the Year honor, she was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and was joined there by senior forward Katie McClure, who was a unanimous selection. Junior midfielder Ceri Holland was tabbed to the All-Big 12 Second Team.
The announcement means Kansas has had at least one Jayhawk on the All-Big 12 teams each year since the current format began in 2000. The three Jayhawks selected also marked the seventh time in the last eight seasons that three or more KU representatives were selected to the all-conference squads.
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.
KU played seven matches against teams ranked in the top-25 of the coaches poll this season. Kansas went 3-3-1 in those seven outings against ranked foes. The win over No. 10 Oklahoma State on Nov. 8 marked the fourth-consecutive season the Jayhawks have tallied at least two victories over a team ranked among the top-25 in the nation.
Kansas is 10-16-3 against ranked foes since 2016, with eight 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.
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 went 8-2-1 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 +43 and boasts a goals-against average of 0.90, a number that includes 21 shutouts.
LET’S GET DEFENSIVE
The Jayhawks proved to be a stout defensive team, carrying over the trend from their last several seasons. Kansas boasted a goals-against average of 0.77 this season, which encompassed 12 shutouts in its 25 outings. The Jayhawks allowed less than five opponent shots on goal per match.
KU put together several impressive shutout streaks to start this season and finished it by building one of the longest in program history. The Jayhawks went 441 minutes between an opponent finding the back of their net from Nov. 8-24. The mark ranks as the fourth-longest streak in program history. KU has now tallied six opponent scoreless streaks of 300 minutes or more in the last five seasons, which included two this season.
OVERTIME = OUR TIME
Seeing five overtimes in its final 12 outings, the Jayhawks once again put up solid performances when the match went to extra time this season. Following KU’s double-overtime win over Oklahoma State on Nov. 8, the Jayhawks are 11-3-14 in their last 28 contests that have gone past the 90th minute. This stretch dates back to the 2015 season.
Eva Eliasdottir’s game-winner in the 109th minute against the Cowgirls was the 11th golden goals in this span, which includes seven over the last two seasons.
The Jayhawks have been on the wrong end of a golden goal just three times during this four-year stretch and only once in the 14 overtime matches they have played in since the start of 2018.
NO GAMES OFF
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 finished as the 12th-toughest in all of NCAA DI, featured 10 teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament a year ago as well as three reigning conference champions. The Jayhawks, finishing at 17-5-3, played 11 teams that finished inside the top-50 of the final RPI rankings. That number includes four matches against teams inside the top-16.
The Jayhawks played seven games against teams that finished inside the top-25 of the final United Soccer Coaches poll – No. 21 Memphis (W, 2-1), No. 5 BYU (L, 0-2), No. 19 Oklahoma State (L, 2-5), No. 20 Texas Tech (T, 0-0), No. 19 Oklahoma State (W, 2-1), No. 24 Xavier (W, 3-0) and No. 6 South Carolina (L, 0-2)
NO SUNDAY SCARIES
At 8-1-2, the Jayhawks nearly finished the season without a loss in a Sunday match, with the lone blemish coming in KU’s final match of the season, its loss against South Carolina. The 2016 team is the only KU squad to finish its season without a Sunday loss, going 6-0-3.
The torrid play on the first day of the week this season came after the Jayhawks went a combined 5-7-3 on Sundays during the 2017 and 2018 campaigns.
Kansas had a +15 goal differential (22-7), a 0.63 goals-against average and five shutouts in Sunday matches this season.