Jayhawks and No. 25 Waves play to 1-1 draw
MALIBU, Calif. – The Kansas soccer team saw its chances but was unable to net the game-winner as the Jayhawks settled for a 1-1 tie with the No. 25 Pepperdine Waves Sunday afternoon at Rokus Field. Sophomore Grace Hagan netted her fourth goal of the season while the Jayhawks turned in a season-high 23 shots.
The draw moved the Jayhawks to 5-3-2 following the conclusion of the nonconference portion of the schedule, while Pepperdine moved to 4-3-2 in its 2016 campaign.
“I’m very happy with how we played and very proud of how the team competed today,” said head coach Mark Francis. “We played two really good teams this weekend and I thought our effort, both Friday and today, was outstanding. “I like where we’re at as a team right now. We have a lot of people playing really well. Now it’s just about taking that next step on the offensive side of the ball and I think we’ll do some great things in conference play.”
The Jayhawks, taking on their second top-25 opponent of the weekend, got out of the starting blocks quick and netted their fourth goal of the season within the opening 20 minutes of the match. In the 17th match, senior defender Aurélie Gagnet played a ball into the heart of the Pepperdine penalty area which gave the Wave defense problems. A Pepperdine defender played a poor clearance right to the feet of Hagan, who took a quick flick and sent in the first goal of the match.
The goal was the fourth of the season for the Wichita, Kansas product and marked the fourth match in her last five outings with a goal or an assist.
Pepperdine got one back just 20 minutes later. Senior Taylor Alvarado beat a KU defender down the left side of the field before letting loose a curling shot from the left corner of the Jayhawk penalty area. The shot snuck inside the far post to pull the Waves level with the visitors, still with more than 50 minutes to play in regulation.
The second half was a back in forth affair with KU seeing several chances to retake the lead. KU outshot the home side 11-7 over the second 45 minutes and saw seven corner kick opportunities, but still couldn’t find the back of the net.
Still deadlocked at 1-1 after 90 minutes, the Jayhawks entered their third overtime match of the year. Kansas again saw some good looks at the golden goal in the extra periods. Hagan nearly found Katie McClure right in front of the Pepperdine goal, but her cross just missed the feet of the freshman and skipped out of danger. Hagan also saw an opening in the 99th minute from 18 yards out. Her fifth and final shot of the day sailed just inches over the Wave crossbar.
After neither squad could put in the game-winner in the second overtime period, the Jayhawks were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw, their second of the season.
Hagan’s five shots led all players and led a KU attack that notched a season-high 23 shots. Redshirt freshman Regan Gibbs earned her second-straight start as the KU goalkeeper. The Naches, Washington native collected six saves on 18 Pepperdine shots.
The Jayhawks will open Big 12 Conference play when they welcome the Texas Tech Red Raiders to Rock Chalk Park on Friday, Sept. 23. KU and TTU will meet for the first time since the two squads battled in the Big 12 Tournament final last November, a 1-0 Red Raider victory. Kickoff from Lawrence is set for 7 p.m.
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