Kansas sprints past South Dakota State, 3-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – An early goal by junior Madison Meador and a pair of second-half strikes led Kansas soccer past the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, 3-0, Sunday afternoon at Rock Chalk Park. The Jayhawks improved their record to 2-0-0 to start the season, the team’s best start since 2014.
In the 17th minute, junior Katie McClure found the head of Meador on a pin-point corner kick service that the Ballwin, Missouri product sent to the back of the net to put her team up 1-0 and to tally her first-collegiate goal. KU took that 1-0 lead into the break after tallying 16 shots in the opening half while limiting the Jackrabbits to six shots.
The Jayhawks came out of the locker room with some aggressiveness as it took McClure just over two minutes into the period to give KU a 2-0 lead. The junior forward found the back of the net on a near post goal after some impressive combination passing with fellow Wichita native Grace Hagan. Kansas added a third goal off the foot of junior Taylor Christie 30 minutes later as she beat the South Dakota State defense on a 40-yard sprint. The Overland Park, Kansas product hit the ball just inside the far post to tally the first goal for her in a Jayhawk uniform.
Kansas freshman goalkeeper Sarah Peters earned her second clean sheet in as many starts for the Crimson and Blue, collecting seven saves to keep the Jackrabbits off the board. Kansas outshot the SDSU 24-7 on the day.
Head coach Mark Francis
On his team’s performance:
“I thought we came out in the beginning really, really, well, especially the first 20 (minutes). I thought our tempo was really good and I thought we created some great chances… And then, I think, we slowed the tempo down and we got too lethargic. The tempo just wasn’t good enough, so at halftime I got on them a little bit and I thought their response was good. I said we need to score in the first 15 minutes to start trying to close the game out and then we scored three minutes into the half, so that was a great response.”
On the team’s 2-0 start:
“I think it’s good for confidence. The kids have put the work in over the summer and made the commitment to being in town. Preseason was really good; we were excited about the anticipation of the level of the group and they’ve shown that so far. They beat a very good team on Friday (in No. 18 Pepperdine) and beat a very competitive and hard-working team today that was organized and we still had to break them down. I’d say that’s two good results. Also, getting the shutout was nice too. So, we’ll take it.”
Junior defender Madison Meador
On her goal also being the first of her Kansas career:
“It was awesome. I’m not used to scoring, so it was just a really good feeling to be able to do it for my team.”
STATS OF THE MATCH
11 Eleven different Jayhawks got into the shots column as KU posted 24 shots on the day. Senior forward Grace Hagan led the way with five, two of which were on goal.
2 With two shutouts in the first two matches of the 2018 season, the Jayhawks have joined the 2004 and 1997 squads as the only teams in program history to begin their seasons with two-consecutive clean sheets.
- The Kansas coaches changed up the starting lineup a little from Friday night’s season-opening match. Against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, freshman defender Grace Wiltgen, RS-Senior midfielder Miriam Melugin and junior defender Elise Reina made their way onto the pitch for Sunday’s first kick. It was their first, second and third career starts as Jayhawks, respectively.
In the 17th minute, junior defender Madison Meador scored her first goal of the 2018 season off a corner kick thrown in by Katie McClure. The goal, a header, was also Meador’s first in her Jayhawk career.
The Jayhawks took 16 shots in the first 45 minutes of play Sunday afternoon, a stark comparison to Friday night’s match when KU shot just twice in the first half vs. Pepperdine.
- Junior forward Katie McClure scored her second goal in as many matches of the 2018 season in the 48th minute off a passing combination from Sr. F Grace Hagan, who notched her first assist of the year.
Junior forward Taylor Christie beat her Jackrabbit defender and shot the ball straight into the goal in the 76th minute of play. Her initial goal of the 2018 season was also the first of her career donning the Crimson and Blue since 2015.
- KU’s 3-0 win over South Dakota State gave the Jayhawks their first 2-0-0 start to a season since 2014 and the sixth time in head coach Mark Francis’ 20 seasons in Lawrence.
- After today’s victory over the Jackrabbits, Kansas now leads the all-time series with South Dakota State, 5-0-1. All six matches have been played within the last nine seasons.
- Kansas head coach Mark Francis is now just eight victories away from hitting the 250-plateau in collegiate coaching wins as KU’s 3-0 defeat of South Dakota State Sunday afternoon at Rock Chalk Park improved his 23-year collegiate coaching record to 242-182-32.
Kansas will hit the road for the first time in 2018 when it journeys to Lincoln, Nebraska, for a pair of weekend match-ups against Pac-12 opponents as part of the Husker Invitational. On Friday, Aug. 24, KU will go up against the Oregon State Beavers in a 4 p.m., match at Barbara Hibner Stadium. Two days later, KU will meet the Oregon Beavers in a 10 a.m., match.
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