⚽ 2020 Kansas Soccer In Review
No. 15 Kansas concluded the 2020 fall season with a 5-3-1 record, a season that was dictated by COVID-19. Due to the pandemic, the Big 12 limited the fall schedule to just conference contests. Kansas placed fourth in the nine-match season, posting its second-straight and 10th overall upper-half finish in the Big 12 era.
Kansas ended the fall ranked No. 15 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll. After entering the season receiving votes by the coaches, KU’s opening-match victory at Texas propelled the Jayhawks into the top 10 of the poll at No. 9 on Sept. 22. Winning its first three matches in 2020 saw KU climb to No. 5 in the poll on Oct. 6, its highest ranking in program history. The Jayhawks were ranked in nine of 10 weeks of the fall, with five of those in the top 10. Additionally, since the start of the 2019 season, Kansas has been ranked or receiving votes in each of the last 22 polls.
The Season at a Glance
- The Jayhawks are 11-3-4 in their last 18 games against Big 12 opponents and have outscored their league foes 24-to-13 during that span, which included the 2019 Big 12 Championship title.
- After its 1-0 win over Texas Tech on Sept. 25, 2020, Kansas now has a victory over every Big 12 squad in the last calendar year.
- Kansas ranked 11th nationally in shutout percentage at .444, which was third in the Big 12.
- Kansas displayed balance in the fall of 2020 as its 10 goals scored were by six different players – Ceri Holland (3), Rylan Childers (2), Brie Severns (2), and one each by Italia Bradley, Kathryn Castro and Mandi Duggan.
- Kansas was one of four Big 12 teams ranked by the coaches at the conclusion of the fall season, along with No. 3 TCU, No. 4 West Virginia and No. 11 Oklahoma State.
IN THE BIG 12
Kansas finished fourth in the Big 12 standings with 16 points. TCU won the league with 25 points, while West Virginia was second with 21 points. Oklahoma State placed third with 19 points.
Statistically, KU ranked in the upper half of the Big 12 in shutouts (third at 0.57), goals allowed (fourth at 0.86) and goals against average (fifth at 0.86).
Individually, junior goalkeeper Sarah Peters finished tied for third in the league in shutouts (4), third in shouts per game (0.57), third in save percentage (.813) and seventh in saves per game (3.71).
Senior Ceri Holland was named to the 2020 All-Big 12 Second Team, while Moira Kelley garnered a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Selections for the All-Big 12 teams were voted on by the league’s head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players. 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 two Jayhawks selected also marked the eighth time in the last nine seasons that two or more KU representatives were selected to the all-conference squads.
A three-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week this season, Holland was on the All-Big 12 Second Team for the second-straight year. The West Yorkshire, England, native posted three goals and three assists in KU’s nine games during this pandemic-shortened season.
Kelley started all nine KU matches on the defensive end in 2020. Additionally, the Overland Park, Kansas, native played every minute for the Jayhawks, including the double-overtime match versus Iowa State on Nov. 6. With Kelley on the field this season, Kansas ranked third in the Big 12 with four shutouts and fourth in the conference in goals allowed with six.
KANSAS’ 2020 HONORS
Kansas placed 13 student-athletes on the 2020 Academic All-Big 12 Soccer Team. Twelve Jayhawks were named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team, including four players – Kathryn Castro, Avery Hall, Ceri Holland and Kailey Lane – who earned a first-team nod for the third time. The announcement marked the 12th time in the last 13 seasons that KU has had eight or more selected to the conference’s all-academic teams.
Ceri Holland, Second Team
Big 12 All-Freshman Team
Academic All-Big 12
Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week
Week 1 (at Texas) – Ceri Holland
Week 6 (vs. Oklahoma State) – Ceri Holland
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Week 3 (vs. Texas Tech) – Kate Dreyer
Big 12 Goalkeeper of the Week
Week 1 – Sarah Peters
Week 6 – Sarah Peters
Topdrawersoccer.com National Team of the Week
Sept. 15 (at Texas) – Kate Dreyer (HM)
Sept. 29 (vs. Texas Tech) – Kathryn Castro, Sarah Peters (HM)
Oct. 20 (vs. Oklahoma State) – Ceri Holland
Senior Ceri Holland started her 75th-consecutive match for Kansas in KU’s home finale against Oklahoma Nov. 15. Historically, Holland is one of 14 players to have started every match she played at KU. Her 75 ranks as the fourth-most all-time for consecutive starts.
Career Consecutive Starts at KU
- Afton Sauer (2004-07) – 83
- Whitney Berry (2009-12) – 82
- Shelby Williamson (2009-12) – 82
- Ceri Holland (2017-20) – 75
Other current Jayhawks who have started every match while at KU include junior GK Sarah Peters (55), sophomore D Kaela Hansen (55), junior F Rylan Childers (9), freshman D Kate Dreyer (9) and freshman D Moria Kelley (9). Childers has started 51-consecutive matches dating back to her first two seasons at Kansas City.
HOME SWEET HOME
Rock Chalk Park has been a welcome site for the Jayhawks in recent years as KU has enjoyed a successful four-year stint playing on its home turf. KU finished 3-1-1 at Rock Chalk Park in 2020. The Jayhawks went 8-2-1 in Lawrence in 2019 and are 40-17-4 (.667) in matches played at home during the regular season since the 2014 campaign. From 2013-14, Kansas posted an 11-match home winning streak, the longest in program history.
Since moving into Rock Chalk Park, Kansas has built a goal differential of +46, which includes 23 shutouts. In addition, KU has recorded three home shutouts in its last six contests at Rock Chalk Park.
EXPERIENCE VS. YOUTH
The 2020 edition of the Jayhawks were a youthful bunch, with 17 of the 28-woman roster boasting only one season of collegiate experience or less. There were eight true freshmen on the 2020 roster. Entering 2020, the squad featured eight players who had seen action in 39 matches or more during their collegiate careers.
Individually, seven Jayhawks averaged 75-plus minutes per match with five being upperclassmen and two freshmen; those included senior Ceri Holland and juniors Rylan Childers, Grace Wiltgen, Kaela Hansen and Sarah Peters and freshmen Moira Kelley and Kate Dreyer.
SAVE IT SARAH
- 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.
FIRST TO SCORE, WINS GALORE
Dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season, now at 175 games, Kansas has developed an interesting trend when it comes to which team tallies the first goal of the match. During that 175-game span, the Jayhawks were on the losing end only four times in contests which they put in the match’s first goal. Kansas has amassed a record of 84-4-10 in those games (90.8 winning percentage), which included 14 of KU’s wins and one draw in 2019, as well as its four of its five victories in 2020.
The NCAA has allowed a soccer championship to be played in the spring of 2021. The championship selections will be announced April 18 and the bracket has been reduced from 64 to 48 teams. There will be 31 automatic qualifiers, with TCU earning the Big 12’s automatic bid based on the 2020 fall season, and 17 at-large selections. The Women’s College Cup will be May 13-17. Kansas will begin its spring season with a pair of exhibition contests Feb. 26 and March 6.