Senior defender Morgan Williams
|GM 2: Kansas vs. Marquette
||Rock Chalk Park (2,500)
||Marquette leads, 1-0-0
||Jayhawk Radio Network
||Time Warner Cable SportsNetwork
|Stats at a Glance
|Shot on Goal %
Notes Game Notes
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Coming off its first season-opening home defeat in five seasons, the Kansas Jayhawks look to rebound Sunday when they welcome the Marquette Golden Eagles Sunday to Lawrence. Both squads are coming off defeats Friday with the Kansas side trying to avoid its first 0-2 start to a season since 1998. Action from Rock Chalk Park is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.
About the Jayhawks
The Kansas Jayhawks are coming off a season-opening loss at the hands of the Minnesota Golden Gophers Friday in Lawrence. KU returns 15 letterwinners and eight starters from the 2015 squad which went 10-9-2, finished sixth in the Big 12 and made the program’s first appearance in the conference tournament championship game. Mark Francis is entering his 18th season at the helm in Lawrence and holds a 188-143-24 record with the Jayhawks and is second among active Big 12 coaches with 221 career coaching victories.
The Jayhawk offense will be looking to fill the void left by outgoing seniors Liana Salazar and Ashley Williams, who combined for 49 goals during their respective careers, which included 31 over the last two seasons. Sophomore Grace Hagan is Kansas’ top returning scorer after tallying four goals and three assists during her freshman campaign. The 2016 KU roster features six other players who tallied a goal and/or an assist during last season.
The KU defense is again expected to be stout this year, with the return of four two-year starters as well as several talented reserves. Over the last two seasons the Jayhawks are boasting a goals-against average of 1.03 and have held opponents to 12.3 shots per game during that span. Kansas will once again carry three keepers on the 2016 roster and all seem fit for the starting role. Junior Maddie Dobyns was the regular starter for the Jayhawks last season and will be joined by sophomore Lauren Breshears and redshirt freshman Regan Gibbs.
About the Golden Eagles
Like the Jayhawks, Marquette suffered a season-opening defeat, falling to Nebraska Friday night in Lincoln, 2-1. The Golden Eagles return eight of 11 starters and 23 of 28 letterwinners from a squad that went 8-8-4 (5-3-1 BIG EAST) and finished fifth in the league’s 2015 regular season standings. Marquette also returns 93 percent of its goal scoring production from last season.
MU returns the bulk of their personnel that helped them to a strong season on the offensive side of the ball. Last year, UM scored 1.40 goals per game and managed to put over 44 percent of their total shots on frame. Senior Darian Powell led the team with her seven goals and 39 shots. The Eagles were an unselfish bunch last season, as 14 different players tallied at least one goal or an assist and 10 players notched 10 or more shots.
While Marquette had its defensive struggles during the first half of the 2015 campaign the squad was stout in conference play, allowing just five goals in its final seven contests. True freshman Maddy Henry earned the start between the posts for MU in their season-opener against Nebraska Friday. The Omaha product allowed two goals on six Husker shots in her first career collegiate start.
Markus Roeders is starting his 21st season as the head coach at Marquette. Roeders has guided the Eagles to a 290-11-44 record during his time in Milwaukee. In that span, the Golden Eagles have posted winning season each of the last 19 seasons and have won no fewer than 10 games. He has guided MU to 12 NCAA tournament appearances and advanced as far as the Sweet 16 three times (2005, 2010, 2012).
Rebounding on Opening Weekend
Despite its loss to Minnesota on Friday night, Kansas will look to continue its habit of rebounding off a season-opening loss. The Jayhawks have lost their first match of the season eight times during their 21-year history, but have conceded two-straight losses to open a campaign just twice in that span.
Kansas last began a season with two losses in 1998 and have never started a year 0-2 during head coach Mark Francis’ first 17 season at the helm in Lawrence. The only other team to drop its first two outings was KU’s inaugural team in 1995. In Francis’ 17 years, his five teams that lost their opening match have established a record of 3-0-2 in their second outing of the year.
Kansas returns eight players from last year’s team that started at least 17 games. Included in the eight returning starters are six players who have amassed 35 starts or more during their Jayhawk careers.
Senior Tayler Estrada leads the way among active KU players with 61 starts in her KU career, while senior Jackie Georgoulis has been a starter in 48 matches. Junior Kayla Morrison has started each of her team’s 43 matches during her time in Lawrence. Seniors Hanna Kallmaier and Morgan Williams have 40 starts to their credit with senior Aurélie Gagnet not far behind with 37.
Last Time Out
A dominant second half wasn’t enough for the Jayhawks to overcome a two-goal deficit as Kansas soccer fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 2-1, in their regular-season opener Friday afternoon at Rock Chalk Park. Grace Hagan shot in her fifth career goal on a penalty kick, while KU outshot the visitors 18-11 over the final 45 minutes of action.
It was a tale of two halves for the Jayhawks, who tallied 18 shots in the second period after notching just four in the first frame. KU came out of the first half trailing 1-0 after Minnesota forward Simone Kolander kicked in the game’s opening goal in the 20th minute. Kansas got on the board with just under 15 minutes remaining. Trying to corral a loose ball inside the KU box following a corner kick, Jackie Georgoulis was fouled and earned her team a free look at goal. Sophomore Grace Hagan was called upon to take the penalty, which she slotted home to cut the Minnesota lead in half. The final whistle sounded moments later and signaled KU’s first season-opening home loss in five years.
KU ended the match outshooting the visitors 22-11, however only three of the Jayhawk attempts were put on frame. Hagan and freshman Mandi Duggan led the KU charge with four shots apiece, while they were joined by 14 teammates who posted at least one shot. Dobyns made two key saves in the second half for KU, but earned the loss, allowing more than one goal in a match for just the sixth time in her three-year career.
Jayhawks Picked Seventh in Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Kansas soccer was predicted to finish seventh in the 2016 league standings according to the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll which was released last week. The ranking marks just the fourth time in the 17-year history of the preseason vote that KU has been picked seventh or lower in the conference’s poll.
Four-time defending league champion West Virginia was the coaches’ choice to win the conference, receiving eight first-place votes and 64 points overall. The Mountaineers were followed by Texas Tech (57), Oklahoma (42), Baylor (35), Oklahoma State (34), Texas (32), Kansas (30), TCU (22) and Iowa State (8).
Experience vs. Youth
Few teams in the history of Kansas soccer have had a team with has many veterans alongside so many newcomers as the 2016 Jayhawks. This year’s team will feature seven seniors, two of which are fifth-year seniors. Six of the seven members of the 2016 senior class have played in at least 49 matches during their careers and each senior has been in the starting lineup on at least nine occasions.
On the other hand, over 40 percent of this year’s Kansas squad will feature freshmen as the Jayhawks will see nine true freshmen as well as a pair of redshirt freshmen on the roster. No other KU team since 1999 (Mark Francis era) has had a roster with more than 10 freshmen.
Big Cleats to Fill
The 2016 version of the Jayhawks will try to fill the void left by two of the most talented goal scorers in program history. Graduated seniors Liana Salazar and Ashley Williams combined for 49 goals and 22 assists during their respective KU careers, which included 31 goals over the last two seasons. Salazar ended her career as the No. 2 goal scorer in program history with her 28 goals, while Williams closed her collegiate career at No. 7 on KU’s all-time chart with 21.
With the loss of the senior duo, Salazar and Williams, as well as All-Big 12 freshman Parker Roberts, the Jayhawks will need to replace over half of their offensive production from a season ago. Sophomore Grace Hagan could be the top candidate to pull the offensive slack. The Wichita, Kansas product notched four goals and four assists in her first season in Lawrence last year, while seniors Jackie Georgoulis, Ashley Pankey and sophomore Anna Courtney combined for the Jayhawks’ remaining six goals in 2016.
Just One will Do It
The 2016 Jayhawks will try 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 54 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 42-8-4. 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.
First to Score, Wins Galore
Over its past 83 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 83-game span, the Jayhawks have been on the losing end only once in the games which they have put in the match’s first goal. Kansas has amassed a record of 40-1-3 in those games, which included an 8-0-1 mark last year. The Jayhawks’ win over Baylor in the Big 12 Championship semifinals last November marked their 31st-consecutive unbeaten match when KU has scored first.
On the flip side, KU hasn’t been quite as fortunate when its opponents have gotten on the board first. Kansas’ wins over Colorado College and Arkansas last season were the first and only wins in that same 83-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are 2-33-1 in those games over the last four seasons, which includes the Jayhawks’ season-opening loss to the Minnesota Gophers on Aug. 19
Let’s Get Defensive
With the entire KU back line set to return this season, the Jayhawks are once again expected to be a stout defensive team. Over the last two seasons, the Jayhawks shutout 14 opponents and boasted a goals-against average of 1.03. Kansas allowed just 25 goals last year and no more than one opponent goal in all but five of their 21 matches. KU went 307-straight minutes without conceding a goal from Oct. 2-16, the 10th-longest streak in school history and the third streak of over 290 minutes in the last two seasons.
Kansas opponents’ lack of goal scoring may be attributed to the Jayhawks’ ability to keep the opposing team’s shot percentage low. Of the 335 shots KU allowed last season, opponents put just 38 percent of those on target and only got nine percent of those shots past the KU goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
The Jayhawks will return to their home pitch on Friday, Aug. 26 when they host former Big 12 foe Colorado. KU and CU will meet for the second time since the Buffaloes joined the Pac-12 and the first time in Lawrence. Kickoff from Rock Chalk Park is slated for 7 p.m.
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