Jayhawks and Sooners fight to 2-2 draw

Box Score (PDF)

NORMAN, Okla. – Second half goals from sophomore Grace Hagan and senior Ashley Pankey helped the Kansas Jayhawks earn a 2-2 draw with the Oklahoma Sooners Friday night at the OU Soccer Complex. KU netted the go-ahead goal with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation, however Oklahoma tied the score just nine seconds later, pushing the match to overtime where it eventually ended in a tie.
The draw moved Kansas to 8-4-4 on the year and 3-1-2 in the Big 12, while Oklahoma went to 11-4-2 in its 2016 campaign with a 4-2-1 tally in league play.
“This was a really great college soccer game and I’m definitely happy with the result,” said head coach Mark Francis. “We had our chances to win and it was disappointing to give up that goal so quick after taking the lead, but Oklahoma is a great team and to come in their place and get a draw, you can’t complain about that. This puts us in a good position heading into our last two conference games. We need to turn our attention to Baylor now and go get another good result Sunday.”
On senior night in Norman, it was a senior that sent in the Sooner’s first goal of the game. Forward Liz Keester was found in perfect position inside the KU box with a one-touch pass from teammate Madison Saliba. Keester sent in a low strike from just outside the six-yard box that snuck under the outstretched arms of KU goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns and into the side netting for the first goal of the night.
For the third-consecutive game, the Jayhawks entered the halftime locker room with a one-goal deficit, but once again saved its best half for the second. Less than 18 minutes into the period, Hagan pulled her team level with her seventh goal of the year. The Wichita product picked up a loose ball at the top of the OU penalty area and used some evasive dribbling to make a pair of Sooner defenders miss. Hagan then sent in a right-footed strike that just missed the fingers of the OU keeper and snuck inside the left post.
Both teams battled hard over the next 20 minutes, but it was the Jayhawks the separated themselves first. With less than seven minutes remaining in regulation, freshman Katie McClure found space in the attacking third and dribbled down the right side of the OU box. McClure sent a low cross to the far post where Pankey took one touch to redirect it into the back of the net.
The goal was Pankey’s second of the season and appeared it would be the eventual game-winner, however Oklahoma had other plans.
The Kansas side didn’t have much time to celebrate reclaiming the lead as OU brought the game back level just nine seconds after the restart. Off the kickoff the Sooners sent a long pass downfield and, after a flurry in front of the KU goal, OU senior Madison Saliba shot it home to once again tie the match.
The Jayhawks entered their second-straight overtime match and fifth of the season five minutes later. Both squads saw their chances at the golden goal in the 20 minutes extra time, but none could put in the game-winner.
The match came to a close in a 2-2 draw with OU holding a slight edge in shots 16-15. McClure led the Jayhawks with three shots, while seniors Hanna Kallmaier and Tayler Estrada each tallied a pair. Dobyns ended the match with four saves, and allowed multiple goals for just the third time this season.
The Jayhawks will journey back to the Lone Star State for their final road match of the regular season when they take on the Baylor Bears on Sunday, Oct. 23. Kickoff from Waco is slated for 1 p.m., and can be viewed on Fox Sports Southwest or the FoxSportsGo app.
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