Jayhawks Fall in Spring Opener, 4-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Three first-half goals put the Jayhawks in a hole they could not get out of as Kansas fell to the KU men’s club team in its spring exhibition opener, 4-0, Saturday afternoon at Rock Chalk Park. Despite the large deficit, the Jayhawks played level with the men over the final 40 minutes of action.
“Playing the guys is always a challenge, but that’s why we play them,” said head coach Mark Francis. “They are the most athletic team we will ever play so it’s good to give our players a taste of that. I thought we were pretty solid on defense today though. A few of the goals were a little soft but overall I thought we defended them well.”
Kansas opened the match strong, playing the men even through the first 20 minutes. At the 22-minute mark, the club team opened the scoring after finding itself on the right side of a two-on-one breakaway. The men scored two more times in the final 13 minutes of the opening frame put the Jayhawks in a 3-0 hole heading into the locker room.
The men got one more to the back of the Jayhawk net less than three minutes into the second half, but it would be the last time. The Kansas defense tightened up and held the club team scoreless for the remainder of the match.
“We still need to get our speed of play up in the games we have left,” explained Francis of areas he’s looking to team to improve on moving forward this spring. “We also need to be much more efficient on offense. We outshot almost every opponent last year but that didn’t necessarily produce a lot of goals so that’s what we’re really trying to emphasis this spring.”
The Jayhawks will now have three weeks before their second spring exhibition contest. On Saturday, March 26, KU will welcome the two-time defending NWSL champion FC Kansas City to Lawrence. Kickoff from Rock Chalk Park is set for noon.
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