Jayhawks journey to Northwest for Sunday date with Oregon State
Junior forward Grace Hagan
|Game 4: at Oregon State|
|1 p.m. (CT)|
|Patrick Wayne Valley Stadium (1,500)|
|Shot on Goal %||.455||.395|
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Kansas soccer team will look to make it three-straight wins when they take on Oregon State on Sunday, Aug. 27 in Corvallis, Oregon. The match, set for 11 a.m. (PT) at Wayne Patrick Valley Stadium, will pit the Jayhawks against a Beaver squad that has yet to lose a game in 2017, sitting at 1-0-2.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
The Jayhawks enter the match Sunday coming off two-straight shutout victories. Friday Kansas took down Tulsa with a pair of goals within the opening 18 minutes KU has not conceded an opponent goal in 201 minutes of game action. The Jayhawks return 17 letterwinners and six starters from the 2016 squad which went 11-6-4, finished second in the Big 12 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. Mark Francis is in his 19th season at the helm in Lawrence and holds a 201-149-28 record with the Jayhawks.
After a quiet opening match against Nebraska last weekend, the Jayhawk offense has come alive in its two most recent outings. KU has tallied five goals and is averaging nearly 15 shots per outing in its three matches this year. Junior Grace Hagan is Kansas’ top returning scorer after tallying seven goals and four assists during her sophomore campaign. Hagan is one of 30 women to be named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. The 2017 KU roster features seven other players who tallied a goal and/or an assist last season.
After conceding three goals in the opener versus Nebraska, the KU defense has been stout in its last two matches. KU has not allowed a goal in its last 200 minutes and has held its last two opponents to just 15 shots combined. Senior Maddie Dobyns was Kansas’ starting keeper in KU’s first three matches. In her career she has a goals-against average of 0.99, has collected 145 saves and has amassed a save percentage of .771.
With this weekend’s first road trip of the 2017 season, the Jayhawks will look to continue their trend of relatively strong performances in matches away from Rock Chalk Park in the recent years. Kansas can hang its hat on an impressive record in road games over the past three-plus years. KU has played 29 regular-season road games since the start of the 2014 season, amassing a record of 16-9-4, which included a 4-3-3 record last year and already a 1-0 mark this season after Friday’s win at Tulsa. The Jayhawks hope they can continue this trend over the month, with seven of their next 10 matches away from Lawrence.
ABOUT THE BEAVERS
Oregon State has yet to loss a match in 2017 after claiming a win and two draws through its first three outings. The Beavers drew with Missouri 0-0 in Corvallis on Friday night. OSU entered the 2017 campaign after posting an 8-10-2 record and finished ninth in the Pac-12 at 3-8-0 in 2016. The Beavers returned 14 letterwinners from that team, including senior Nikki Faris, who led the team with six goals and six assists a year ago.
Through its first three matches of 2017, OSU has netted two goals and is averaging 14.3 shots per game. Last season the Beavers scored just over one goal per game and managed to put over 43 percent of their total shots on frame. Faris is the squad’s top offensive threat after tallying six goals, six assists and 37 shots in 2016.
The Oregon State defense has allowed only one goal in over 300 minutes this season. OSU opponents have averaged 8.7 shots per game and only four shots on goal per match. In goal, senior Bella Geist got the start in her team’s first three matches this season. Last year, she saw action in all 20 matches, posted a goals-against average of 1.40, collected 86 saves and amassed a save percentage of .748.
Linus Rhode is starting his 10th season as the head coach at Oregon State. Cussen has guided the Beavers to an 81-83-22 record during his time in Corvallis. Rhode won 60 matches in his first five seasons as the head coach, including a school-record 16 wins in his third year after tying the school-record with 14 wins in his second year.
LAST TIME OUT
A pair of goals in the opening 18 minutes, along with some staunch play on the defensive side propelled the Kansas soccer team to a 2-0 win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane Friday evening. Junior Grace Hagan netted her first goal of the season, while senior defender Kayla Morrison followed shortly thereafter with her second-career goal.
Less than four minutes after the opening whistle, sophomore forward Katie McClure slipped a pass through the top of the TU box that connected with her teammate, Hagan. The All-Big 12 forward calmly took one touch and fired a shot past the Hurricane keeper and into the back of the net to give her team the early 1-0 edge. Less than 15 minutes later, the visitors struck again, and for the second-straight game, capitalized off a corner kick set piece of the leg of Morrison.
FRANCIS CLAIMS WIN NO. 200 AT KANSAS
With Kansas’ 3-0 win over Central Michigan on Aug. 20, Mark Francis claimed his 200th victory as the head coach of Kansas. He has now amassed a record of 201-148-28 over his 19-year stint in Lawrence. The veteran coach has averaged just over 11 wins per season during that span. He is currently second among the active Big 12 coaches in victories behind West Virginia’s Nikki Izzo-Brown.
FEEDING ON NONCON
This season, the Jayhawks will try to make it 10-straight seasons with a .500 winning percentage or better against regular-season nonconference foes. Since the start of the 2012 season, Kansas has posted an impressive 34-16-6 mark in its 56 regular-season nonconference matches (66%), which includes a 22-9-3 mark since 2014. In the last six seasons, KU has outscored noncon opponents by a tally of 96-53. Mark Francis has led KU to a winning record in noncon in 18 of his 19 seasons in Lawrence and is now 113-48-10 in regular season nonconference games.
JAYHAWKS PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN PRESEASON BIG 12 POLL
Kansas soccer was predicted to finish second in the 2017 league standings according to the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll which was released Aug. 9. The ranking marked the highest Kansas has been picked to finish since the preseason coaches’ poll began in 2000.
Five-time defending league champion West Virginia was the coaches’ unanimous choice to win the conference, receiving eight first-place votes and 81 points overall. The Mountaineers were followed by Kansas (71), Oklahoma (57), Texas Tech (55), Baylor (47), Oklahoma State (38), TCU (37), Texas (32), Iowa State (23) and Kansas State (9).
HAGAN NAMED TO MAC HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST
Kansas junior Grace Hagan was one of 30 women in Division I NCAA soccer to be selected to the Watch List for the Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s most valuable collegiate soccer player every season.
Hagan, who hails from Wichita, Kansas, enters this season coming off a stellar sophomore campaign in 2016. An honoree on the NSCAA All-Central Region First Team, Hagan scored a team-high seven goals and added four assists to combine for 18 total points on the year, the fifth-most in the Big 12 Conference. She was also selected to the All-Big 12 First Team. She added a pair of game-winning goals on the year and helped the Jayhawks to their best conference finish in over a decade, finishing 5-1-2 in league play and aided Kansas to the program’s seventh NCAA Tournament appearance. Hagan is six goals shy from moving into the top-10 of Kansas’ all-time goal scorers list.
EXPERIENCE VS. YOUTH
The 2017 edition of the Jayhawks will be a youthful bunch, with 16 of the 25-woman roster boasting only one season of collegiate experience or less. There are eight newcomers on this season’s roster, including seven true freshmen, who the coaches are leaning on to contribute almost immediately. The squad will feature five seniors, one of whom is in her fifth year. Four of the five members of the 2017 senior class have played in at least 39 matches.
BIG CLEATS TO FILL
The 2017 Jayhawks will try to fill the void left by a large group of players lost to graduation following last season. KU will have to navigate through the departure of seven players who were a part of 53 KU victories since 2012. They helped their team to a pair of top-three Big 12 finishes, its fifth-straight Big 12 tournament berth and two NCAA Tournament appearances. Combined, these seven accumulated 355 starts and played over 33,000 minutes in the Crimson and Blue. This senior class also combined for 11 goals, 23 assists and 311 shots. From 2013-16, this Jayhawk senior class amassed a record of 43-32-8. This makes it the seventh class in program history to have achieved 43 or more wins in a four-year period.
Senior Kayla Morrison has carried an impressive streak into her final year in Lawrence as she has started all 66 of the Jayhawks’ matches since her freshman year in 2014. Morrison’s mark is already among the longest in program history as it’s fifth on the all-time list among field players. If the Corona, California product is in the starting lineup in each of Kansas’ final 16 regular-season games, she would move to a tie for third on that list with 82-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.
JUST ONE WILL DO IT
The Jayhawks 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 campaign, the Kansas soccer team scored at least one goal in 70 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 54-8-8. Kansas won or tied all but eight matches in which it scored, including a 25-4-1 record in those instances during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and a 10-1-4 record last year.
FIRST TO SCORE, WINS GALORE
Over its past 106 games, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season, Kansas developed an interesting trend when it comes to which team tallies the first goal of the match. During that 106-game span, the Jayhawks were on the losing end only once in contests which they put in the match’s first goal. Kansas has amassed a record of 52-1-5 in those games, which included a 10-0-2 mark last season and already a 2-0 mark this year. The Jayhawks’ win over Tulsa on Aug. 25 was their 47th-consecutive unbeaten match when they scored first.
On the flip side, KU wasn’t quite as fortunate when its opponents have gotten on the board first. Kansas’ win over Texas Tech on Sept. 23 of last season marked just the third victory for the Jayhawks in that same 105-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are now 3-39-3 in those games over the last four seasons, which included all six of the Jayhawks’ losses and two of their draws in 2016 and its lone loss to Nebraska in the first weekend of this season.
LET’S GET DEFENSIVE
Last season, the Jayhawks once again proved to be a stout defensive team. Kansas boasted a goals-against average of 0.85, which included six shutouts. The Jayhawks allowed just 12 opponent shots per match, which included eight games when KU opponents sent in 10 or fewer attempts. Over their last 65 matches (dating back to the start of the 2014 season), the Jayhawks shutout 22 opponents and boasted a goals-against average of 0.89. Kansas conceded 61 opponent goals in that span and allowed one opponent goal or less in 23 of its last 27 matches.
KU also turned in an impressive shutout streak in 2016. Kansas 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.
The Jayhawks will return to Rock Chalk Park on Sept. 1 when they play host to the Colorado College Tigers. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Two days later the defending NCAA Champion USC Trojans will come to town for a Sunday-night contest. The match will begin at 7 p.m., and will be televised on Spectrum Sports and streamed on ESPN3.
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