Christie, McClure lift Kansas past Oregon State, 3-0
LINCOLN, Neb. – The dynamic duo of junior Kansas forwards Katie McClure and Taylor Christie were too much for Oregon State to handle Friday night inside Nebraska’s Barbara Hibner Stadium. The tandem combined to score each of the No. 18 Jayhawks’ three goals in the first half, as KU held on for the 3-0 victory.
McClure, the reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, wasted no time continuing her hot start to the season. After receiving a pass from junior Elise Reina, McClure was able to shoot past the defenders and score her third goal of the season to give KU an early 1-0 lead just 17 minutes into the match.
Then it was Christie’s turn to get on the scoreboard. Just over 10 minutes later, McClure sucked the defense away from Christie before feeding her teammate for her second goal of the year at in the 28th minute. Christie added her second goal of the night in the 39th minute after a steal in the OSU penalty area. The goal brought Christie and McClure into a tie for the team lead with three goals apiece to start the 2018 season.
Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Peters earned her third-straight victory as well as her third-straight shutout in as many starts between the posts for the Crimson and Blue. The Jayhawks finished the contest outshooting the Beavers 13-2, which included a 6-0 advantage in shots on goal.
With the victory, the Jayhawks improved to 3-0-0 on the season, which is their first 3-0 start since 2014. KU rallied off eight in a row to begin its 2014 campaign.
Head coach Mark Francis
On his team’s performance:
“I thought we played really well in the first half. We had eight shots in the first half and we moved the ball really well for the most part. We worked on crossing and finishing in two different training sessions this week, so it was very satisfying for both the staff and the girls to get two goals off of crosses.”
On Katie McClure and Taylor Christie’s contributions to open the season:
“I think Katie is dangerous and she has always had that potential and now she is finishing the opportunities that she has. She is just a handful. And I think Taylor off the bench comes in and creates havoc. I think it is a great contribution for Taylor when she comes in and just maintains that same level.”
Junior forward Taylor Christie
On the team’s mentality entering the first half:
“We have been wanting to score off of crosses all week. We worked on crossing and finishing. So, anytime we got the chance to get a cross off we were trying really hard to get to that front post and score. So, when Katie got the ball out wide I tried really hard to get there and just put something on it.”
On her offensive contribution to start the season:
“I think Katie and Grace are doing an awesome job at the start and Sam and I just try to come in and keep the level of play as high as we can. Or we try to raise it as much as we can. I think that is how we have been helping out.”
STATS OF THE MATCH
3 This was the first time since Aug. 20 of last season that the Jayhawks scored three goals in a half. Kansas accomplished this feat in the first half of Friday’s contest, while it was a second half accomplishment against the Central Michigan Chippewas a year ago.
59 Since 2012, over the last 125 games and including Friday’s win, Kansas is now 59-2-7 in games where it is the first to score. That’s good for an 86.7 winning percentage.
- Junior forwards Katie McClure and Taylor Christie are the first KU tandem since Hilla Rantala and Natalie Hoogveld in 2001 to each score three goals in the first three games of the season.
- With McClure’s second-consecutive three-point game against the Beavers, she now has eight total points in KU’s first three games. The last Jayhawk to have eight points in the team’s first three games was Jamie Fletcher in 2011. McClure reached that feat with three goals and two assists, while Fletcher finished accomplished it with four goals.
- The last player to score in three-consecutive games prior to McClure was Grace Hagan last season. Hagan did it in the three games from Sept. 10-18.
- Sarah Peters extended her true freshman clean-sheet streak to three with the 3-0 shutout of the Beavers, which is the best ever in KU history by a first-year player. This is the longest clean-sheet streak for any goalie since Maddie Dobyns did it in four-straight games in 2017.
- With the victory over the Beavers, Kansas begins the season 3-0 for the sixth time in head coach Mark Francis’ 20 seasons.
- Kansas’ seven goals are the most scored in the team’s first three games since 2014 when the team posted eight.
- The last time the Jayhawks began the year with three-straight shutouts was back in 2004 when the team began the season with five straight.
The Jayhawks will remain in Lincoln, Nebraska, for their second game of the week Sunday against Oregon as part of the Husker Invitational. This will be only the second time these two teams have faced off in program history. KU won the lone meeting, 3-0, back in 2010. Game time is set for 10 a.m., and will be streamed on Big Ten Network Plus.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.