Jayhawks outlast Rams in preseason exhibition, 3-2
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A long strike from sophomore midfielder Ceri Holland in the early minutes of the final frame proved to be the difference as the Kansas Jayhawks withstood a second-half rally from the Colorado State Rams, 3-2, in exhibition play Sunday afternoon.
The Jayhawks got on the board before the first 15 minutes came off the clock. Senior Grace Hagan played a long cross into the CSU box, were senior Kaycie Young knocked it home near the far post. Thirteen minutes later the KU attack produced some good fortune when Hagan found space to let loose another pass across the face of the Ram goal. This time though, the ball deflected off a CSU defender and into the back of the net for an own goal. Kansas held on to the 2-0 lead as the teams went to the halftime locker rooms.
Colorado State came out of the break motivated and managed to cut the KU lead in half just four minutes into the second half. A Jayhawk handball in their own penalty area saw the Rams earn a penalty kick, which CSU senior Beth Plentl converted on to make the score 2-1, still in favor of the home side.
KU responded less than two minutes later when Holland found sent home a goal from 25 yards out. From there both squads played even until a miscue in the 79th minute on the Jayhawk defensive end saw Coloardo State creep back within a goal. Ram forward Ally Murphy-Pauletto stepped in front of a KU pass back to the keeper and scored on the one-on-one opportunity with KU keeper Regan Gibbs.
The 3-2 score line is as close as the visitors would get however, with KU able to snuff out the late CSU charge.
Head Coach Mark Francis
On his impressions of today’s match:
“There were definitely some good things. Obviously, we made a lot of changes today; we gave a lot of people a run, which is why you play an exhibition game, so that was good. There were some individuals I thought we saw some good things out of. I’m a little disappointed; at first we dominated, as it was 14 shots to zero. They (Colorado State) outshot us in the second half, 10 shots to eight. I basically said to the team, ‘When we’re dominating a game like that, we’ve got to put it away.’ We can’t let our level drop like that and I thought we were a bit inconsistent with that in the second half. That’s a learning experience there. I thought there were some good things offensively; defensively, we’ve got some kinks that we’re going to have to iron out a little bit. Overall, it was a good run. Like I said, we got to play a lot of people, which is a little bit of a different situation than last year in terms of personnel. I thought some of the kids came in off the bench and did a good job, played some really good minutes. (We) Definitely have some things to work on next week though.”
STATS OF THE GAME
22-10 The Jayhawks outshot the Rams by a tally of 22-10, which included a 14-0 edge in the opening 45 minutes of action. Colorado State turned that around in the second half however, outshooting the home team 10-8. Last season, Kansas averaged 22.4 shots per game and hit the 20 shot mark in just five of their 20 outings.
23 A total of 23 Jayhawks saw the field in Sunday’s friendly, giving a glimpse of the incredible depth the KU team could utilize during the 2018 season. In 2018, Kansas saw only 16 players log minutes in 18 or more matches.
Kansas will kick off the 2018 regular season when the Jayhawks welcome the No. 18 ranked Pepperdine Waves to Rock Chalk Park on Friday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. The two squads met two years ago in Malibu and played to a hard-fought 1-1 draw in double overtime. Two days later KU will host the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in Lawrence for the 1 p.m. kickoff. Both matches will be streamed live on ESPN+ with Josh Klingler and Huw Williams set to call the action.
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