Jayhawks strike late to upend Cyclones, 2-1
AMES, Iowa – Trailing 1-0 with less than 30 minutes remaining in regulation, the Kansas Jayhawks scored twice over the waning moments of the match to top the Iowa State Cyclones, 2-1, Friday night. Freshman Isabella Cavalcante netted her first-collegiate goal and the eventual game-winner in the 84th minute to propel the Jayhawks to their first conference win of 2017.
The victory brought an end to Kansas’ six-game winless streak and now has the Jayhawks sitting at 6-5-2 on the year, as well as 1-1-1 in Big 12 play. The loss dropped Iowa State to 2-9-1 in its 2017 campaign and 0-3-0 in the Big 12.
“For the majority of the game I thought we had the better of it, but we just couldn’t convert,” said head coach Mark Francis following the match. “We talked at halftime about being more patient and picking better opportunities. We just never gave up. The girls were fantastic tonight. This is a good result for us on the road and will get us back on track for sure.”
Despite outshooting the home team 8-1 over the first half-hour of the match, Kansas found itself in a one-goal deficit after the Cyclones netted the game’s first goal with just under 14 minutes remaining prior to the intermission. Iowa State’s Klassey Medelberg gained possession at the top of the KU box, used a quick move to evade the KU defenders before sending in her third goal of the year. It marked the second-straight match the Jayhawks would be forced to work themselves out of an early 1-0 hole.
After a handful of near misses, the Jayhawks eventually netted the equalizer in the 65th minute. Sophomore Katie McClure served in a corner kick that rebounded right back to her own feet near the intersection of the 18-yard box boundary and the end line. McClure took one touch toward midfield and shot in a curling ball that flew into the side netting at the far post. The goal marked McClure’s third goal of the season and breathed new life into the KU side as it entered the final 30 minutes of regulation.
The match appeared to be destined for overtime with neither side able to establish any dangerous attacks as the clock ticked toward the 90th minute. However, Cavalcante put to rest any thought of her team being faced with its third-straight extra time following her long-range strike in the 84th minute.
After gaining possession near midfield, the Glen Ellyn, Illinois native charged toward the ISU end and sent in a shot from just under 30 yards from the mouth of the Cyclone goal. The high-arching shot snuck under the crossbar and just out of the reach of ISU goalkeeper Antonia Reyes to give the Jayhawks their first lead of the match, a lead Kansas would not relinquish.
Kansas kept the Iowa State attack at bay for the remaining five-plus minutes of regulation to snap its six-game winless streak.
The Jayhawks ended the match with the edge in the overall shot tally at 21-9, which included nine shots on goal for the KU attack. Kansas also managed a season-high 10 corner kicks in the victory.
Kansas kicks off a three-game home stint with a bang when the Jayhawks host the first soccer edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown. Kansas State, in its second year of existence as a program, will journey to Lawrence to face KU on Oct. 6. Kickoff from Rock Chalk Park is set for 7 p.m., and will be televised on Spectrum Sports and ESPN3.
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