Kansas falls in penalty kicks to TCU
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas soccer team came up short following a double-overtime thriller, playing to a 1-1 draw with TCU before being edged by the Horned Frogs on a penalty kick shootout in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals Wednesday night at Swope Soccer Village. Sophomore Katie McClure netted the Jayhawks’ lone goal with just under 30 minutes to play in regulation before Kansas conceded the tying goal 17 minutes later. The two squads went on to play to a 1-1 tie before TCU advanced by way of the PK shootout, 4-2.
“I’m gutted four our kids to have the year end this way,” said head coach Mark Francis. “I felt we really had the better of the game in the second half, but you have to hand it to TCU, they didn’t give up and converted when it mattered on the PKs. I’m really disappointed for our seniors because they’ve been such a big part of this program for the last four years and it’s just tough to see them go out this way.”
The No. 6-seeded Jayhawks ended 2017 with an 8-9-3 record, while the No. 3-seed Horned Frogs extended their season with a 12-5-2 record.
The Jayhawk offense was unable to muster much offense in the opening 45 minutes of play, managing just four shots in the first 45 minutes.
That stale play didn’t extend to the second half however, with Kansas coming out of the locker room intent on moving into the Big 12 semifinals for the second time in three years. KU outshot the Frogs by a tally of 11-8 in the second period, which included McClure’s go-ahead goal in the 62nd minute.
A TCU foul just two strides outside its own penalty box gave McClure a prime spot for the ensuing free kick. The sophomore out of Wichita blasted home her sixth goal of the year on the attempt and broke the 0-0 stalemate with just under half an hour to play in regulation.
The Horned Frogs responded in the 79th minute, however, when they found the back of the net on a corner kick set piece. Kayla Hill got her head on an Emma Heckendorn corner service and got it past KU goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns to knot up the score at 1-1 with just over 10 minutes to play in regulation.
The match moved to overtime and neither team could find the golden goal. TCU came close on several occasions over the 20 minutes of extra time, even hitting the crossbar at one point, but the much remained at 1-1 following the 110th minute and left the match a draw. A penalty shootout would determine which squad would punch its ticket to the semifinals.
TCU ended the contest outshooting Kansas by a tally of 27-17, the most by a KU opponent this season. McClure led all players with six shots on the night, three of which ended up on target. Maddie Dobyns collected five saves in the match, bringing her career total to 197.
In the best-of-five PK tries, it was the Horned Frogs the refused to blink converting on each of their four attempts, while the Jayhawks were able to get the ball past TCU keeper Katie Lund only twice.
“I’m proud of the way this team battled this year,” concluded Francis. “We may have not gotten all the results that we wanted, but I never get the sense that the girls were giving anything less than 100 percent. We had players take big strides this year and I’m excited to see what’s instore for this program in the future.”
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