Kansas falls to No. 17 Texas on penalty kicks
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas soccer team came up short following a double-overtime thriller, playing to a 0-0 draw with No. 17 Texas before being edged by the Longhorns on a penalty kick shootout in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals Sunday night at Swope Soccer Village.
With the 0-0 draw, KU dropped to 11-5-3 on the season while Texas’ record moved to 13-3-3 overall in 2018. The Longhorns move on to the Big 12 semifinals Friday night back at Swope Soccer Village, where they will face the West Virginia Mountaineers at 7 p.m.
Just as the final scoreboard read, almost the entirety of tonight’s soccer match was what Texas head coach Angela Kelly deemed a “chess match.” Kansas head coach Mark Francis agreed with Kelly’s sentiments, as he stated that he felt “like a spectator sitting on the sideline watching tonight because we played so well.”
There was no clear separation between the two teams after the first 45 minutes of play, the second 45 or even after the entire 110 minutes, as the end result was much the same in regards to statistics across the board.
Both teams saw a myriad of chances to put in the first goal of the night, which included five shots that the Jayhawks managed to put on frame, however UT goalkeeper Nicole Curry was there to stop each of them.
After holding the Longhorns scoreless for 110 minutes, Kansas freshman goalkeeper Sarah Peters was replaced by senior Lauren Breshears between the posts for the PK round of action. After four rounds of PKs, the Longhorns prevailed, 3-1, and advance to play in the Big 12 Soccer Championship semifinals on Friday night.
Head coach Mark Francis
On tonight’s loss and the possibility of more soccer to be played in the postseason:
“I think the level we are playing at right now is, by far, the highest we’ve played at and the most consistent. Even within 90 minutes (of regulation play), we’ve been pretty consistent in what we’ve done. Credit to the kids; they’ve picked things up when we’ve tweaked it here and there. I just said to them that I felt like a spectator sitting on the sideline watching tonight because we played so well. It was just really fun to watch, you know? Hopefully, this will give us a little bit of time off here to heal up – we’re a little nicked up. Then we’ll regroup, do some training and get ready to play in a couple of weeks.”
On how the coaches and team approach Penalty Kicks-shootouts and the mentality that goes into it:
“We just tell the kids, ‘You’ve got to pick your spot and stick with it, regardless of what happens. You know where you want to put it, (so) just put it there. It’s confidence and you’ve also got to be able to deal with the pressure. Clearly, we didn’t do a great job of executing penalty kicks tonight. I thought their goalkeeper made a couple of (nice) saves. It’s a mentality and it’s a confidence – and not that I don’t think we are – we just didn’t execute on a couple of those today. That’s the way the cards fell today.”
On if he believes tonight was the team’s best overall game of the season:
“Pretty close. Tonight or Thursday (at West Virginia). We might have actually played better tonight than we did on Thursday, to be fair, when we have the ball. The other part of it is, in both games, our defensive pressure has been phenomenal, all over the field. Our commitment to pressure the ball, whether it’s our forwards or our midfielders or our backs, it’s collective and it’s every single play. I think we are making it difficult for the opponent. Then, when we have the ball, we’ve composed ourselves and kind of played in our rhythm. It’s been fun to watch, to be honest.”
- 2018 marks the first year of the Big 12’s new championship format, where it will be played over two weekends for the first time in conference history. The first round, consisting of four quarterfinal matches, took place today (Sunday, Oct. 28), which will be followed by the two semifinal matches on Friday, Nov. 2 and then culminating with the championship match, which will be played on Sunday, Nov. 4.
- Following Sunday night’s Big 12 Championship quarterfinals, the Jayhawks are now 5-13-5 in their 18 appearances in the Big 12 Championship, which includes a 2-3-2 record since 2015.
- After 90 minutes of regulation, Kansas and Texas were still deadlocked at zero goals scored, so their match went into sudden-victory overtime play. It was the second OT match of the day at the Big 12 Soccer Championship, as Texas Tech advanced over TCU with PKs, 5-3, after a scoreless double-OT match in the day’s second quarterfinal match.
- Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Peters tallied her ninth shutout of the season, the third-most by a Kansas goalkeeper in a single season.
- Kansas played in its eighth overtime match of the 2018 season for Kansas, a program record. Kansas has picked up four victories in those eight extra-time matches, which is also a school record. KU is now 4-1-3 in overtime this season. Of KU’s eight total OT matches played this season, three have been decided in the extra first 10 minutes, while five have now gone into 2OTs and tonight’s match also included PKs to determine which team would advance in the league tournament.
- The two teams’ Big 12 Championship quarterfinal draw dropped Kansas’ series record against the Texas Longhorns on the soccer pitch to 16-7-3 all-time.
The Jayhawks now have to wait to learn their postseason fate until Monday, Nov. 5, when the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship bracket will be announced on the Selection Show prior to the first-round of competition.
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