Jayhawks Fall to FC Kansas City, 3-0

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The stifling defense of the National Women’s Soccer League’s defending champion proved to be too much for Kansas soccer, as the Jayhawks fell, 3-0, to FC Kansas City in the exhibition Saturday afternoon inside Rock Chalk Park.
 
“I’m not worried about the result today,” said head coach Mark Francis. “The spring is all about getting better and playing the two-time defending champion from the professional league will definitely help us get better. We were a little intimidated in the first half but in the second half we created some chances and had more possession. I was also really happy with how we defended as a group, too.”
 
FC Kansas City, which is preparing to kick off its defense of the NWSL crown in three weeks, got out to an early lead when forward Shea Groom rifled in a shot in the eighth minute after a cross got through the KU defense and into the six-yard box.
 
The Jayhawks allowed only one more FCKC goal in the opening half when midfielder Erika Tymrak tapped in a ball sent that was sent across the six-yard box in the 16th minute.
 
Despite the early deficit, Kansas’ defense held strong for the remainder of the first half against the squad that dispatched of the UMKC Kangaroos, 7-0, in exhibition play last week.
 
The all-star FCKC defense made it difficult for the Jayhawk offense to find their rhythm throughout the match, but the Jayhawks created some chances several times in the second half. Freshman forward Grace Hagan got in behind the Blues defense on two occasions but was unable to get a clear look, while junior forward Ashley Pankey had a shot drift just wide of the left post midway through the half.
 
FC Kansas City scored for the third and final time in the 63rd minute, once again off the foot of Groom following a two-on-one breakaway, before Kansas locked down the Blues offense for the remainder of the match.
 
“This game will help us as we move forward,” concluded Francis. “Our next three games are against college teams so hopefully we’ll see some benefit from these last two games (against the KU men’s club team and FC Kansas City) as we head into the last month of the spring.”
 
Kansas will now hit the road for its lone away contest of the spring campaign. The Jayhawks will take on the Tulsa Hurricane on Saturday, April 2. Kick off from Hurricane Soccer Stadium is slated for 1 p.m.
 
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