Jayhawks come back to draw with Butler, 2-2, in exhibition

Box Score (PDF) // Photo Gallery

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Two goals in the final 26 minutes helped Kansas salvage a 2-2 draw against the Butler Bulldogs in the Jayhawks’ first preseason exhibition Tuesday afternoon inside Rock Chalk Park. Senior forward Ashley Pankey netted the tying goal with just over three minutes remaining to pull her team level, while freshman Erna Guðjónsdóttir scored the Jayhawks’ first goal in the 64th minute.
“There are some positives to take away from today but we definitely have some things to work on as well,” said 18th-year head coach Mark Francis. “I was really happy with how we climbed back into it and fought until the end. That was really encouraging. We still have some kinks to iron out, but I saw some good things today.”
Kansas found itself in what proved to be a hard-fought match against a talented Butler team that returns 20 letterwinners and nine starters from last season’s NCAA Tournament team. The Bulldogs managed to put the Jayhawks in an early hole as the visitors got on the board in the 15th minute with long strike from freshman midfielder Maeve Burger.
Out of the halftime locker room, Butler wasted little time in adding its second goal of the afternoon, just 16 minutes into the second frame. BU took advantage of a costly turnover by the Jayhawks near their own goal but McKenzie Muchow managed to tap in a low cross right in front of the KU goal.
The second Butler goal awoke the Jayhawk offense as KU managed to get on the board just over three minutes later.
It was fitting for the Jayhawks, who feature nine true freshmen on their 2016 roster, that a first-year player scored the team’s first goal of the preseason. With her team facing a 2-0 deficit with less than 30 minutes to play, Guðjónsdóttir found herself in the right place at the right time. The Selfoss, Iceland product headed home a long cross from senior Morgan Williams from the top of the six-yard box to cut the Bulldogs’ lead in half with just over 26 minutes to play.
The Jayhawks saw several prime opportunities in the final 20 minutes of the match. Just minutes after her goal, Guðjónsdóttir took another try that forced the Bulldog goalkeeper into a diving save. Senior Tayler Estrada sent in a shot from 20 yards out in the 74th minute that the Butler keeper barley managed to tip over the crossbar.
 Erna Guðjónsdóttir sparked the KU comeback with her goal in the 64th minute in Tuesday’s exhibition vs. Butler.It appeared as though the Bulldogs would be able to dodge the many Jayhawk bullets down the final stretch of the match, however Pankey had the final say. Senior midfielder Jackie Georgoulis played a long pass forward that caught up with the sprinting Pankey near the top of the BU penalty area. The Middletown, New Jersey native won the ball from a defender before beating the goalkeeper and slammed home the tying goal.
The final whistle sounded just over three minutes later to hand the Jayhawks a draw in their opening preseason match of the 2016 campaign.
The Jayhawks closed out the match outshooting the Bulldogs by a 20-9 clip, which included 14 KU attempts in the second half. Estrada led her team with five shots on the day, three of which she managed to put on frame.
The KU coaches got each of their three goalkeepers into the match, with junior Maddie Dobyns and redshirt freshman Regan Gibbs each notching a save apiece.
KU will get its final tune-up for the 2016 regular season when the Jayhawks welcome in the Creighton Bluejays for their second exhibition match on Friday, Aug. 12. The Jayhawks and Bluejays will hit the pitch at Rock Chalk Park for a 7 p.m., kickoff. One week later, Kansas will open up its regular season against Big Ten foe, Minnesota, on Aug. 19. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m., in Lawrence. The match will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.