Kansas heads to Malibu to take on No. 25 Pepperdine Sunday

Senior midfielder Tayler Estrada

GM 10: Kansas at Pepperdine
Time 3 p.m. (CT)
Location Malibu, Calif.
Stadium Rokus Field
Series Pepperdine leads, 2-1-0
Radio Jayhawk Radio Network
Online: KUAthletics.com
Watch TheW.tv:
Online: wccsports.com
Live Stats PepperdineWaves.com
NOTES Kansas
Stats at a Glance KU Pepp
Record 5-3-1 4-3-1
Goals/GM 1.22 1.25
Shots/GM 16.7 12.1
Shot % .073 .103
Shot on Goal % .373 .505
Goals Allowed/GM 0.89 1.12
Saves/GM 2.7 5.1
Save % .750 .820
Fouls/GM 10.8 7.0
Yellows/Reds 5/1 2/0

Notes Game Notes
Watch TheW.tv
Radio Listen

LOS ANGELES – The Kansas soccer team will close out its nonconference portion of the season when the Jayhawks meet the Pepperdine Waves on Sunday, Sept. 18. Both squads are looking to rebound from shutout losses Friday night and will look to head into conference play with momentum. Kickoff from Rokus Field is set for 3 p.m. (CT).
About the Jayhawks
Kansas will hit the pitch in Malibu Sunday coming off a 2-0 loss at the hands of the USC Trojans Friday night in Los Angeles. The match marked just the second time Kansas has been shutout this season and handed the Jayhawks their second loss in their previous eight outings.
The Jayhawk offense has gained momentum over the last two weeks, scoring seven goals in its last four outings and averaging 17.0 shots per game in that span. Twelve different Jayhawks have tallied at least five shots during the first nine matches, with 10 players boasting a goal or an assist. Sophomore Grace Hagan along with freshmen Mandi Duggan and Katie McClure lead the team with three goals apiece. Hagan and McClure have combined for nearly a third of the team’s shots with 43 between the two Wichita natives.
The KU defense has allowed eight goals thus far in 2016, one of which was a penalty kick. The Jayhawks have held their eight opponents to an average of only 10 shots per game and a total of just 32 shots on frame (3.6 per game). The KU defense has allowed one opponent goal or fewer in 13 of its last 15 outings dating back to last season. Redshirt freshman Regan Gibbs has played KU’s last 135 minutes in goal after junior Maddie Dobyns was sidelined with injury. In her 1.5 games as the KU keeper, Gibbs has made five saves, allowed two goals and boasts a save percentage of .714.
About the Waves
Pepperdine enters the match having claimed only one win in its last five outings, which includes a 3-0 loss to UCLA in Malibu Friday night.  The Waves opened the season with three-straight wins and a goal differential of 9-1, but is 1-3-1 in its last five outings with a goal differential of -7.
The Pepperdine offense has been hot and cold this season, netting nine goals in its first three games, but netting just one goal in the five matches since. The Waves are posting 12.1 shots per game and are scoring on over 10 percent of those attempts. Pepperdine has also managed to put over 50 percent of those 12 shots per game on target. Senior Rylee Baisden has led the offensive charge so far this season with four goals, two assists and 26 shots.
The Wave defense has conceded nine goals but has shutout four of its first eight opponents. Pepperdine opponents are averaging 13.5 shots per match and are putting over 46 percent of those attempts on frame. Senior Hannah Seabert has gotten the start in goal in all eight of Pepperdine’s games this year. She is boasting a goals-against average of 1.09, a save percentage of .812 and has tallied 39 saves.
Head coach Tim Ward is currently in his 18th year at the helm of the Pepperdine program. He guided the Waves to five-consecutive NCAA postseasons from 2001-05 and back-to-back berths in 2011-12. He also directed Pepperdine to a share of the program’s first West Coast Conference title in 2002 and matched the feat in 2011.
Last Time Out
 A pair of Trojan goals in the second half spelled doom for Kansas soccer as the Jayhawks fell to Southern California, 2-0, Friday evening at McAlister Field. KU was outshot for just the third time this season with the help of a 14-5 USC advantage in the second half.
Less than 20 minutes into the game sophomore Lois Heuchan was inches away from sending in her first goal of the season. Senior Tayler Estrada played a low, darting pass through the Trojan box that made it all the way to Heuchan, who near the far post. The Castle Douglas, Scotland product used one touch to redirect the ball toward the wide open USC frame, however the shot sailed just high of the cross bar, keeping the match scoreless at 0-0. Just 63 seconds into the second half a poor clearance by the KU defense resulted in USC midfielder Leah Pruitt gaining possession 20 yards in front of the Jayhawk goal. Pruitt let loose a shot that sailed into the back of the net to break the tie and put her team ahead. The Trojans team put the game out of reach with its second goal in the 87th minute. An unfortunate deflection off a Jayhawk defender put the ball at the feet of USC’s Sydney Sladek, who sent it home for her second goal of the season.
California Dreamin’
This weekend, Kansas will head to the West coast trying to continue its past success playing inside the Golden State. The Jayhawks have played 15 times in California and have amassed a record of 9-6-0, which includes a 9-4-0 mark in regular season play. Two of the Jayhawks’ losses came in the NCAA Tournament at the hands of UCLA in 2003 and Stanford in 2008.
KU also boasts a winning record against California teams, regardless of where the match is being played. The Jayhawks are 12-11-0 all-time against schools located inside the Golden State.
Two current Jayhawks will likely be playing in front of family and friends when they hit the pitch in Los Angeles and Malibu this weekend. Junior Kayla Morrison hails from Corona, California, where she scored 90 goals in four seasons at Corona High School. Freshman Jordan Malone is a native of Woodland Hills, which is just 20 minutes from the Pepperdine campus, where Kansas will play Sunday afternoon.
Iron Jayhawks
With any veteran laden team, there are bound to be some impressive career streaks established and the 2016 Jayhawks are no different. One streak that shows the continuity and consistency of this KU crew is the amount of consecutive games started. Six Jayhawks currently boast stretches of 25-straight matches started or longer, which includes junior Kayla Morrison, whose streak sits at 51-straight starts for the Jayhawks.
Morrison’s mark is already among the longest in program history as it its 11th on the all-time list among field players. If the Corona, California product is in the starting lineup in each of Kansas’ final nine regular-season games, she would move to eighth on that list with 60-straight starts.
Two field players hold the ultimate title of “Iron Jayhawk” as they started each of KU’s matches over a four-year span. Estelle Johnson (2006-09) and Afton Sauer (2004-07) were in the starting 11 in all 83 games of their careers.
Spreading the Wealth
The Kansas offense has shown to be a tough assignment for opposing defenses this year after a host of Jayhawks have made their presence known on the stat sheet. Ten different Jayhawks have had their hand in at least one of the team’s goals thus far in 2016, either scoring or assisting. A total of 17 players have managed to tally multiple shots and, while sophomore Grace Hagan and freshman Katie McClure have notched nearly a third of the team’s total shots (43), 10 of their teammates have added five or more attempts to the team’s total of 139.
This is a trend that carried over from last year’s squad, as 11 different players managed to post double-figure shots and 10 Jayhawks tallied at least one goal or assist in 2015.
Road Warriors
This weekend the Jayhawks will look to continue their trend of relatively strong performances in matches away from Rock Chalk Park. The Jayhawks can hang their hats on an impressive record in road games over the past two years. KU has played 23 regular-season road games since the start of the 2014 season, amassing a record of 12-9-2, which included a 5-5-1 record last year.
The Jayhawks will hope they can continue this trend over the next three weekends, with four of their next five matches away from Lawrence.
Feeding on Noncon
This season, the Jayhawks will try to make it eight-straight years with a .500 winning percentage or better against regular-season nonconference foes. Since the start of the 2012 season, Kansas has posted an impressive 32-15-5 mark in its 52 regular-season nonconference matches (66%), which includes a 20-8-2 mark since 2014. Since the start of the 2012 season, KU has outscored noncon opponents by a tally of 90-49.
Mark Francis has led KU to a winning record in noncon in 16 of his 17 seasons in Lawrence and is now 110-47-9 in regular-season nonconference games.
Let’s Get Defensive
With a veteran crew comprising the KU back line this season, the Jayhawks are once again proving to be a stout defensive team. Kansas is boasting a goals-against average of 0.85 following its first nine matches as well as two shutouts. The Jayhawks are also allowing 10 opponent shots per match, which includes three games when KU opponents sent in seven or fewer attempts. Over their last 51 matches (dating back to the start of the 2014 season), the Jayhawks shutout 17 opponents and boasted a goals-against average of 0.95. Kansas has conceded only 50 opponent goals in that span and has allowed one opponent goal or less in 13 of its last 15 matches dating back to last season.
Already this season, KU has turned in an impressive shutout streak. KU went 282-straight minutes without conceding a goal from Aug. 19-28. The figure was the 18th-longest in school history and marked the sixth time over the last five seasons the Jayhawks have tallied an opponent scoreless streak of 280 minutes or longer.
Just One Will Do It
Already in 2016 the Jayhawks have continued to carry on an impressive trend that has developed over the last three seasons when it comes to scoring. Since the start of the 2012 season, the Kansas soccer team has scored at least one goal in 60 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 47-8-5. Kansas was won or drawn all but eight matches in which it has scored, including a 25-4-1 record in those instances during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and a 5-1-1 record this year.
First to Score, Wins Galore
Over its past 91 games, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season, Kansas has developed an interesting trend when it comes to which team tallies the first goal of the match. During that 91-game span, the Jayhawks have been on the losing end only once in the matches which they have put in the match’s first goal. Kansas has amassed a record of 45-1-4 in those games, which included an 8-0-1 mark last year and a 5-0-1 mark so far this season. The Jayhawks’ win over UMKC last Sunday night marked their 38th-consecutive unbeaten match when KU has scored first.
On the flip side, KU hasn’t been quite as fortunate when its opponents have gotten on the board first. Kansas’ wins over Colorado College and Arkansas last season were the first and only wins in that same 91-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are 2-35-1 in those games over the last four seasons, which includes all three of the Jayhawks’ losses thus far in 2016.
Kansas soccer was predicted to finish seventh in the 2016 league standings according to the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll which was released last week. The ranking marks just the fourth time in the 17-year history of the preseason vote that KU has been picked seventh or lower in the conference’s poll.
Four-time defending league champion West Virginia was the coaches’ choice to win the conference, receiving eight first-place votes and 64 points overall. The Mountaineers were followed by Texas Tech (57), Oklahoma (42), Baylor (35), Oklahoma State (34), Texas (32), Kansas (30), TCU (22) and Iowa State (8).
For Starters
Kansas returns eight players from last year’s team that started at least 17 games. Included in the eight returning starters are six players who have amassed 35 starts or more during their Jayhawk careers.
Senior Tayler Estrada leads the way among active KU players with 61 starts in her KU career, while senior Jackie Georgoulis has been a starter in 48 matches. Junior Kayla Morrison has started each of her team’s 43 matches during her time in Lawrence. Seniors Hanna Kallmaier and Morgan Williams have 40 starts to their credit with senior Aurélie Gagnet not far behind with 37.
Experience vs. Youth
Few teams in the history of Kansas soccer have had a team with has many veterans alongside so many newcomers as the 2016 Jayhawks. This year’s team will feature seven seniors, two of which are fifth-year seniors. Six of the seven members of the 2016 senior class have played in at least 49 matches during their careers and each senior has been in the starting lineup on at least nine occasions.
On the other hand, over 40 percent of this year’s Kansas squad will feature freshmen as the Jayhawks will see nine true freshmen as well as a pair of redshirt freshmen on the roster. No other KU team since 1999 (Mark Francis era) has had a roster with more than 10 freshmen.
Big Cleats to Fill
The 2016 version of the Jayhawks will try to fill the void left by two of the most talented goal scorers in program history. Graduated seniors Liana Salazar and Ashley Williams combined for 49 goals and 22 assists during their respective KU careers, which included 31 goals over the last two seasons. Salazar ended her career as the No. 2 goal scorer in program history with her 28 goals, while Williams closed her collegiate career at No. 7 on KU’s all-time chart with 21.
With the loss of the senior duo, Salazar and Williams, as well as All-Big 12 freshman Parker Roberts, the Jayhawks will need to replace over half of their offensive production from a season ago. Sophomore Grace Hagan could be the top candidate to pull the offensive slack. The Wichita, Kansas product notched four goals and four assists in her first season in Lawrence last year, while seniors Jackie Georgoulis, Ashley Pankey and sophomore Anna Courtney combined for the Jayhawks’ remaining six goals in 2016.
The Jayhawks will open Big 12 Conference play when they welcome the Texas Tech Red Raiders to Rock Chalk Park on Friday, Sept. 23. KU and TTU will meet for the first time since the two squads battled in the Big 12 Tournament final last November, a 1-0 Red Raider victory. Kickoff from Lawrence is set for 7 p.m.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.