Early strikes lead Kansas to 2-0 shutout of Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. – A pair of goals in the opening 18 minutes, along with some staunch play on the defensive side propelled the Kansas soccer team to a 2-0 win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane Friday evening. Junior Grace Hagan netted her first goal of the season, while senior defender Kayla Morrison followed shortly thereafter with her second-career goal.
The victory lifted the Jayhawks to 2-1-0 in their young 2017 campaign, while Tulsa fell to 0-2-1.
“Tonight we showed a lot of progress from the game last Sunday,” said head coach Mark Francis. “I thought all four of our (defenders) and our goalkeeper did a really good job. We were very organized and our communication was so much better. We did a good job of creating a lot of chances. I would’ve like to maybe get a third one in the second half, but I thought we created some good opportunities.”
Kansas struck early and often in the match that saw the Jayhawks go up against Tulsa for the first time since 2002. Less than four minutes after the opening whistle, sophomore forward Katie McClure slipped a pass through the top of the TU box that connected with her teammate, Hagan. The All-Big 12 forward calmly took one touch and fired a shot past the Hurricane keeper and into the back of the net to give her team the early 1-0 edge.
The goal was the first of the season for Hagan and the 12th of her collegiate career. She is now only five goals shy from entering the school’s all-time goal scorers list.
Less than 15 minutes later, the visitors struck again, and for the second-straight game, capitalized off a corner kick set piece. Senior Lois Heuchan played a ball in from the left side that curled into the heart of the Tulsa penalty area. Once there, Morrison was able to get a leg on the ball, where it shot into the top netting. The goal, her first since the 2014 season, was gave KU a commanding 2-0 lead less than 20 minutes into the match.
KU continued to create chances over the remaining 70 minutes of action. But while the KU offense remained steady, it was the Jayhawk defense that locked down any ideas from the home side of getting back into the match.
Senior goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns made two key saves, but none bigger than in the 77th minute when the Hurricane were attempting to make a late charge. A TU striker let loose a shot from 20 yards out that Dobyns managed to tip just enough and see it slam off the crossbar.
That would be Tulsa’s last good chance of the match as KU closed out the shutout win just over 10 minutes later.
Kansas ended the match outshooting Tulsa 14-6, which included a 7-3 advantage in shots on target. Dobyns picked up her 23rd career victory between the posts for the Jayhawks as well as her 12th career shutout.
Kansas will make the trek to the northwest when it takes on Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon on Sunday, Aug. 27. Kickoff from Patrick Wayne Valley Stadium is set for 1 p.m. (CT) and the match will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.