Jayhawks well represented on All-Big 12 teams
IRVING, Texas –The Kansas soccer team saw its most representatives on the postseason all-conference teams in a decade when the Big 12 announced the awards Monday. Six Jayhawks were honored with sophomore forward Grace Hagan heading up the group with her first team selection. KU boasted a trio on the second team as well as a pair on the All-Freshman squad.
Hagan claimed All-Big 12 First Team honors for the first time in her young KU career, marking the sixth-consecutive season Kansas had at least one Jayhawk on the first team. Senior midfielders Tayler Estrada and Hanna Kallmaier as well as junior defender Kayla Morrison, earned spots on the second team, all for the first time. Jayhawk freshmen Katie McClure and Addisyn Merrick rounded out the KU honorees with their selection on the All-Freshman squad. McClure was a unanimous choice by the league’s coaches.
Hagan, a native of Wichita, Kansas, found herself on the Big 12’s first team for the first time. The forward played in all of KU’s 18 matches this season, scoring a team-leading seven goals which ranked fourth in the Big 12. She also dished out three assists and scored a pair of game-winning goals. Hagan’s selection marked the fifth time in program history an underclassman has been named to the league’s first team. She was also one of just two underclassmen named to this season’s first team.
Morrison claimed all-league honors for the second time with her selection to the second team. The Corona, California product, who was named to the All-Freshman squad two seasons ago, was the centerpiece for a stout Kansas defense that boasted a goals-against average of 0.84 and tallied five shutouts.
Kallmaier and Estrada were also selected to the All-Big 12 second team for the first time in their careers. The senior midfielders started all but one of KU’s 18 matches in the regular season, combining for 46 shots and two assists.
Rounding out the Kansas selections were McClure and Merrick, who became the seventh and eighth KU freshmen in the last six seasons to claim a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. McClure, out of Wichita, Kansas, was a unanimous selection by the league’s coaches after shooting in five goals, adding two assists and boasting a team-leading 47 shots. Like Morrison, Merrick was a key instrument in the Jayhawks’ lockdown defense throughout the year. The freshman out of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, also added a goal and nine shots in her debut season in Lawrence.
The announcement means Kansas has had at least one Jayhawk on the All-Big 12 teams each year since the current format began in 2000. The six Jayhawks selected also marked the fifth-straight season three or more KU representatives were selected to the all-conference squads. Selections for the All-Big 12 teams were voted on by the league’s coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Kansas concluded its regular season last weekend going 10-4-4 overall to earn the No. 2 seed at the Big 12 Soccer Championship to be held in Kansas City, Missouri this week. The Jayhawks are scheduled to take on No. 7-seeded TCU on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 5:30 p.m., inside the Swope Soccer Village.
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