Jayhawks stun No. 13 West Virginia in overtime, 1-0
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Katie McClure’s golden goal in the eighth minute of overtime closed out the regular-season on a high note as the Jayhawks upset the No. 13 West Virginia Mountaineers Thursday night inside Dick Dlesk Stadium. Kansas now enters the Big 12 Championship, set to start on Sunday, Oct. 28, as the No. 6 seed and will play No. 3 seed Texas at 8 p.m. in the quarterfinals at Swope Soccer Village.
Kansas ended the regular-season at 11-5-2 and 5-4-0 in league play. The Mountaineers closed out their season with an 11-4-3 record and a 7-2-0 mark in the Big 12.
Once again, it was junior forward Katie McClure with the late game heroics as the Wichita native scored her sixth game winner of the season from the assist from senior forward Grace Hagan. McClure has become used to the overtime pressure, as her goal in the 98th minute was her third golden goal in KU’s seven overtime appearances.
Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Peters may have just kept the Jayhawks in the game as she recorded a number of saves to keep the Mountaineers off the scoreboard. Peters’ key save came in the 15th minute as West Virginia’s Addison Clark made a move inside the box, but Peters was able to close the angle and get the save.
Kansas recorded its first road win against a top-25 team in two years and it was the Jayhawks’ third victory of the season against a top-25 team. The win snapped a three-game losing streak and gave the Jayhawks much needed momentum moving forward to the Big 12 Championship.
Head coach Mark Francis
On gutsy road win against a tough team:
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud of a group, this group has been unbelievable this year just in terms of how they compete. I thought West Virginia is a very, very good team, tough to beat here. We had a good game plan and I thought the kids really executed it well, especially the defensive part of it. The work that they’ve put into today, all of our plays that we put on the field today in terms of pressuring the ball because you can’t give these guys time and space the plan. I thought we did a tremendous job of knocking them off of their rhythm. Then on the flip side of that, I thought our rhythm, our speed of play, to play out of their pressure was really, really good. I thought it was just a matter of time, we were getting some chances and a great ball from Grace (Hagan) and then the keeper came out but Katie (McClure) needed enough to get it in. I’m proud of the kids.”
On how tonight’s momentum can take them into the postseason:
“I said to the players before the game, the last three games, either for a half or for a portion of the game, we’ve played really really well and haven’t gotten the results and that can be a bit demoralizing so I think, obviously, because of that, it was even more of a gutsy performance today against a very good team. I think because of that now, getting that win was important in terms of momentum for us moving forward. I don’t know who we’re matched up with yet on Sunday but now the pressure’s off and that probably gives us an NCAA bid. So the pressure, I think, is a little bit off of us now and it’s just a matter of going and playing and having fun.”
Junior forward Katie McClure
On the game winner:
“We talked about it in the beginning about pressuring the center backs. Grace did a phenomenal job pressuring her and once I saw her win it, I took off. I screamed as loud as I could so she could hear me and played me in. I had to hit it on frame at least for a follow up for Grace or me. I was just happy to see it in the back of the net.”
On momentum heading into postseason:
“The win gives us good momentum. It sets us up for Big 12 and NCAA’s, so this win helped us a lot getting us out of our little losing streak we had and give us good momentum going forward.”
- Freshmen Sarah Peters and Kaela Hansen, sophomore Ceri Holland, junior Katie McClure, and seniors Kaycie Young and Grace Hagan started every regular season match.
- Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Peters tallied a new career-high in saves with eight after recording five against Baylor on Sunday. Peters also recorded her eighth career shutout, moving her to third place in shutouts in the KU single-season record books.
- Junior forward Katie McClure notched her eighth goal, her third golden goal, and her sixth game-winner on the season.
- McClure’s six game-winning goals this season rank her first among Big 12 players and second in school history.
- KU improved to 4-1-2 in overtime this year. It marked the seventh match of the season in which the Jayhawks have gone into overtime and the most ever in a single season.
- The Jayhawks now have a 4-2-1 record when going into halftime tied, 0-0.
- The 1-0 win marked the first victory of the series for the Jayhawks; the Mountaineers previously led the series 7-0-0.
- Senior forward Grace Hagan’s assist gives her 65 career points, moving her to only one away from sixth place on the the school’s all-time list with 66.
- KU’s victory is the first win against a top-25 team on the road since 2016 when the Jayhawks beats No. 24 Baylor in Waco, Texas.
Kansas will play in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals on Sunday, Oct. 28 at Swope Soccer Village hosted in Kansas City, Mo. A win in the quarterfinal match would advance the Jayhawks to the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 2.
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