Jayhawks fall to No. 2 seed North Carolina, 2-0
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A strong second half by the sixth-ranked team in the nation proved to be too much for the Kansas Jayhawks to handle as the No. 2-seed North Carolina Tar Heels defeated KU, 2-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night at Fetzer Field. The Tar Heels out shot the Jayhawks 12-0 in the second half after to two squads were tied at 0-0 following the first half.
The loss ended the Jayhawks’ 2016 campaign with an 11-6-4 record, while the Tar Heels advanced to the Sweet 16 with their record of 15-3-4.
“I’m disappointed for the kids because I thought they competed really hard tonight,” said head coach Mark Francis. “It was a game of two halves. We definitely had the better of the game in the first half but didn’t capitalize on some really good chances. And they really had the better of it in the second half. I’m really proud of this team. It’s a special group of kids and it’s been a real pleasure to be able to coach them this season.”
Senior Jackie GeorgoulisThe Jayhawks went toe-to-toe with a North Carolina team that had been unbeaten in each of its previous 10 outings, and Kansas played the home side even through the first 45 minutes of play. KU enjoyed several good looks to open the scoring over the opening frame, especially in the first 10 minutes of the match. Junior Lois Heuchan and freshman Katie McClure both had shot attempts in before the clock hit five minutes, both of which forced North Carolina goalkeeper Lindsey Harris was forced into a save.
McClure found an opening again in the 26th minute, once again forcing Harris into a diving save to keep the Jayhawks off the board.
It was a highly motivated North Carolina team that came out of the halftime locker room. The home side tallied six shots within the opening 10 minutes of the half, one of which found the back of the KU net. Freshman Madison Schultz was able to find enough space 10 yards out front of the Jayhawk goal to get a strike off. The shot glanced off the fingertips of Jayhawk keeper Regan Gibbs before hitting the underside of the cross bar and into the goal.
The Tar Heels sealed their win with just over 10 minutes to play. With Kansas sending number forward, UNC took advantage on when it gained an advantage on a long breakaway. After Gibbs stopped the entail Tar Heel shot, the rebound made its way to the feet of Maya Worth, who slotted home the goal into the open net and put the Jayhawks in a two-goal deficit.
Kansas put together some frantic attacks late but the home team held strong and kept the clean sheet in tact, closing out the 2-0 win.
The match ended with UNC holding a 19-5 shot advantage, which included a 12-0 tally in the second half. McClure led the KU attack with her two first-half strikes.
In her fourth career start between the posts, Gibbs collected a career-high six saves.
The KU season comes to a close with 11 wins, marking the seventh time in the last nine years the Jayhawks have won 10 games or more.
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