|GM 12: Kansas vs. TCU
||Friday, September 30
||7 p.m. (CT)
||Fort Worth, Texas
||Garvey Rosenthal Stadium
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Notes Game Notes
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks will look to move to 2-0 in Big 12 play when they hit the pitch against the TCU Horned Frogs on Friday, Sept. 30. TCU is out to its best start in program history with only one defeat in its first 10 outings, while Kansas has been beaten just once in its last six matches. Kickoff from Garvey Rosenthal Stadium is set for 7 p.m., and can be streamed at GoFrogs.com.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas is coming off a 2-1 victory over the previously top-25 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders to open Big 12 play last week. The Jayhawks’ lone loss over the last three weekends came at the hands of the USC Trojans, who are now ranked ninth in the NCAA. Over its last six outings KU has scored 10 goals and has a goals-against average of 0.96.
The Jayhawk offense has gained momentum over the last three weeks, scoring 10 goals in its last six outings and averaging 18 shots per game in that span. Fourteen different Jayhawks have tallied at least five shots during the first 11 matches, with 10 players boasting a goal or an assist. Sophomore Grace Hagan leads the team with her five goals and 35 shots. Hagan, along with freshman Katie McClure, have combined for nearly a third of the team’s shots, with 60 between the two Wichita natives.
The KU defense has allowed 10 goals thus far in 2016. The Jayhawks have held their opponents to an average of just over 10 shots per game and a total of just 40 shots on frame (3.6 per game). The KU defense has allowed one opponent goal or fewer in 13 of its last 15 outings dating back to last season. Junior Maddie Dobyns has started in goal for the Jayhawks nine times in 2016. As the KU goalkeeper this year she has amassed a goals-against average of 0.78, has collected 19 saves and has tallied a pair of shutouts.
ABOUT THE HORNED FROGS
TCU enters Friday’s match in the midst of its best start in program history, with just one loss in its first 10 outings. That one loss was suffered at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners in the Horned Frogs’ Big 12 opener last weekend in Norman. TCU is unbeaten at home this season and is outscoring opponents 16-3 on its home pitch.
The Horned Frog offense has been potent this season, scoring multiple goals in six of its games and suffering only one shutout. TCU is posting 16.4 shots per game and is scoring on over 15 percent of those attempts. TCU has also managed to put over 44 percent of those 16.5 shots per game on target. Three Horned Frogs lead the team with five goals apiece, while junior forward Emma Heckendorn is tops on the squad, and the Big 12, with her eight assists.
The TCU defense has conceded a Big 12-low five goals this season. Horned Frog opponents are averaging 11.1 shots per match and are putting over under 40 percent of those attempts on frame. TCU has played two keepers in every match so far in 2016, junior Courtney Hofer plays the first halves, while freshman Katie Lund plays the second halves. The two have combined for a goals-against average of 0.47, a save percentage of .886 and have tallied 39 saves.
Eric Bell is in his fifth season as the head coach of the TCU women’s soccer program. In his first four-plus seasons with the Horned Frogs, Bell has amassed a 37-36-15 record.
LAST TIME OUT
A pair of penalty kicks helped the Kansas Jayhawks secure a victory in come-from-behind fashion as KU defeated the 25th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders last Friday in front of a record crowd at Rock Chalk Park.
In what was a less than ideal start for the Jayhawks, the Red Raiders got on the board early by netting the match’s first goal in the sixth minute. The Jayhawks didn’t waver though, as the home side leveled the score six minutes before the end of the first half. After Senior Ashley Pankey was taken down in the center of the box, she left it up to herself to convert on the penalty opportunity. She blasted home the resulting penalty kick for her first goal of the season and pulled KU into a 1-1 tie as the teams headed to halftime.
The eventual game-winner came in the 66th minute. For the second time on the night, the official blew his whistle and pointed to the penalty spot, signaling the Jayhawks second PK try of the match. Sophomore Grace Hagan was called upon this go-around, and had little trouble sending home her fifth goal of the season to give the Jayhawks the advantage with more than 20 minutes to play. The KU offense controlled the ball over the remaining minutes of the match to secure the Jayhawks’ Big 12-opening victory.
MESSIN’ WITH TEXAS
In its first 20 years as a program, the state of Texas proved to be a tough place to play for a host of Jayhawk squads, that is until the 2014 season and forward. Prior to 2014, Kansas amassed an overall record of 11-30-8 in matches played inside the Lone Star State, resulting in a win percentage of just .306. Since the start of 2014 though, the Jayhawks turned that trend on its head, going 5-1-0. KU’s loss to Texas Tech in Lubbock last season brought the longest “Lone Star State” winning streak in program history to an end at five.
Regardless of where they are playing, the Jayhawks have been pests to Texas schools over the last two-plus seasons. In its 16 games against Texas schools since the start of 2014, KU has amassed a record of 11-4-1, a goal differential of +11 and a goals-against average of 0.67.
Kansas will have one more chance this season to pick up a win inside Texas following its two matches this weekend. KU will journey to take on Baylor on Oct. 23. KU has won each of its last four match-ups with the Bears.
A TALE OF TWO SEASONS
After a relatively slow start to the 2016 campaign, the Jayhawks are starting to pick up steam, and nothing demonstrates this fact better than comparing the team’s first five matches, with their six most recent. The team began the year with only two victories in its first five outings, while the team that took the field the last six times has suffered just one defeat. The difference in squads over those two periods of the 2016 season is apparent by much more than just looking at wins and losses.
In its first five matches, the Kansas offense endured several stagnant stretches, netting only four goals and posting a scoreless streak of more than 200 minutes. KU was posting over 16 shots per match but putting less than 35 percent of those on goal. Since then though, Kansas’ offense has gained momentum. In its next six games, the Jayhawks shot in 10 goals, which were scored by six different players. KU has also averaged nearly 18 shots in those six outings and has put nearly 38 percent of them on target.
With the Jayhawks currently boasting a 39-match unbeaten streak in games they score first, it’s important for Kansas to look to get on the board early. The 2016 squad has done just that, with nine of Kansas’ 14 goals coming in the first half and five of those netted in the first 20 minutes of action. Katie McClure’s eventual game-winner against UMKC on Sept. 11, which came just 2:46 into the match, sits as the earliest KU strike so far this season.
This is almost a complete reversal when comparing to the KU squad from a year ago. The 2015 Jayhawks scored 16 of their 24 goals in the second half or later, nine of which came after the 75th minute. Last year’s squad also netted just two goals within the opening 20 minutes of a match.
GO TO THE CORNER!
With the first 11 regular season matches in the books, the Jayhawks have worked their way to near the top of NCAA ranks in an important statistical category, corner kicks. Kansas is earning 7.5 corners per match in its 11 outings this season, a figure that leads the Big 12 and has been topped by only four other teams in the NCAA. The Jayhawks have earned 10 or more corners in three matches this season, and fewer than six on only one occasion.
If the Jayhawks continue this pace for the remainder of the season, they would finish the regular season with around 140 corners. That mark would top the program record of 128 set in 2005. Last year, Kansas broke the 100-corner mark for the first time since that record year in 2005, and appear primed to achieve that milestone again this season.
On the flip side, Jayhawk opponents are earning only 3.2 corner kicks per match, the third fewest among Big 12 teams this year.
With any veteran laden team, there are bound to be some impressive career streaks established and the 2016 Jayhawks are no different. One streak that shows the continuity and consistency of this KU crew is the amount of consecutive games started. Five Jayhawks currently boast active stretches of 25-straight matches started or longer, which includes junior Kayla Morrison, whose streak sits at 53-straight starts for Kansas.
Morrison’s mark is already among the longest in program history as it sits 11th on the all-time list among field players. If the Corona, California product is in the starting lineup in each of Kansas’ final seven regular-season games, she would move to eighth on that list with 60-straight starts.
Two field players hold the ultimate title of “Iron Jayhawk” as they started each of KU’s matches over a four-year span. Estelle Johnson (2006-09) and Afton Sauer (2004-07) were in the starting 11 in all 83 games of their careers.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
The Kansas offense has shown to be a tough assignment for opposing defenses this year after a host of Jayhawks have made their presence known on the stat sheet. Ten different Jayhawks have had their hand in at least one of the team’s goals thus far in 2016, either scoring or assisting. A total of 14 players have managed to tally five or more shots and, while sophomore Grace Hagan and freshman Katie McClure have notched nearly a third of the team’s total shots (60), six of their teammates have added double-digit attempts to the team’s total of 190.
This is a trend that carried over from last year’s squad, as 11 different players managed to post double-figure shots and 10 Jayhawks tallied at least one goal or assist in 2015.
The Jayhawks have continued their trend of relatively strong performances in matches away from Rock Chalk Park. Kansas can hang its hat on an impressive record in road games over the past two-plus years. KU has played 24 regular-season road games since the start of the 2014 season, amassing a record of 12-9-3, which included a 5-5-1 record last year.
The Jayhawks will hope they can continue this trend over the next three weekends, with four of their next six matches away from Lawrence.
FEEDING ON NONCON
With the conclusion of the nonconference portion of their season, the Jayhawks have made it nine-straight years with a .500 winning percentage or better against regular-season nonconference foes. Since the start of the 2012 season, Kansas has posted an impressive 32-15-6 mark in its 53 regular-season nonconference matches (66%), which includes a 20-8-3 mark since 2014. In the last five seasons, KU has outscored noncon opponents by a tally of 91-50.
Mark Francis has led KU to a winning record in noncon in 17 of his 18 seasons in Lawrence and is now 111-47-10 in regular-season nonconference games.
LET’S GET DEFENSIVE
With a veteran crew comprising the KU back line this season, the Jayhawks are once again proving to be a stout defensive team. Kansas is boasting a goals-against average of 0.86 following its first 11 matches, which includes three shutouts. The Jayhawks are also allowing just over 10 opponent shots per match, which includes three games when KU opponents sent in seven or fewer attempts. Over their last 53 matches (dating back to the start of the 2014 season), the Jayhawks shutout 18 opponents and boasted a goals-against average of 0.96. Kansas has conceded only 52 opponent goals in that span and has allowed one opponent goal or less in 13 of its last 15 matches.
Already this season, KU has turned in an impressive shutout streak. KU went 282-straight minutes without conceding a goal from Aug. 19-28. The figure was the 18th-longest in school history and marked the sixth time over the last five seasons the Jayhawks have tallied an opponent scoreless streak of 280 minutes or longer.
JUST ONE WILL DO IT
Already in 2016 the Jayhawks have continued to carry on an impressive trend that has developed over the last three seasons when it comes to scoring. Since the start of the 2012 season, the Kansas soccer team has scored at least one goal in 62 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 48-8-6. Kansas was won or drawn all but eight matches in which it has scored, including a 25-4-1 record in those instances during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and a 6-1-2 record this year.
FIRST TO SCORE, WINS GALORE
Over its past 93 games, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season, Kansas has developed an interesting trend when it comes to which team tallies the first goal of the match. During that 93-game span, the Jayhawks have been on the losing end only once in the matches which they have put in the match’s first goal. Kansas has amassed a record of 45-1-5 in those games, which included an 8-0-1 mark last year and a 5-0-2 mark so far this season. The Jayhawks’ draw at Pepperdine last Sunday night marked their 39th-consecutive unbeaten match when they have scored first.
On the flip side, KU hasn’t been quite as fortunate when its opponents have gotten on the board first. Kansas’ win over Texas Tech last Friday marked just the third victory for the Jayhawks in that same 93-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are now 3-35-1 in those games over the last four seasons, which includes all three of the Jayhawks’ losses thus far in 2016.
Kansas will return home to take on the Big 12 regular-season championship squads from six of the last eight years. The Jayhawks will first host the West Virginia Mountaineers on Friday, Oct. 7 inside Rock Chalk Park in a 7 p.m., match. Two days later Kansas will do battle with the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in a Sunday afternoon match. KU and OSU are slated to kickoff at 1 p.m., and will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.
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