Senior midfielder Tayler Estrada
|Stats at a Glance
|Shot on Goal %
Notes Game Notes
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas soccer team will welcome in a former Big 12 foe Friday when the Jayhawks play host to the Colorado Buffaloes at Rock Chalk Park. The match, set for 7 p.m., will be the 18th meeting between the former conference rivals.
About the Jayhawks
The Kansas Jayhawks are coming off 1-1 opening weekend of regular-season play which saw a 2-1 loss at the hands of No. 19 Minnesota and a 1-0 win over Marquette. KU returns 15 letterwinners and eight starters from the 2015 squad which went 10-9-2, finished sixth in the Big 12 and made the program’s first appearance in the conference tournament championship game. Mark Francis is entering his 18th season at the helm in Lawrence and holds a 189-143-24 record with the Jayhawks and is second among active Big 12 coaches with 222 career coaching victories.
The Jayhawk offense was active during its first two outings of the season, averaging 19 shots per match and tallying over eight corner kicks per outing, which leads the Big 12. Sixteen different Jayhawks tallied at least one shot during the first weekend of play, with 11 of those players boasting multiple shots. Sophomore Grace Hagan is Kansas’ top returning scorer after tallying four goals and three assists during her freshman campaign, Hagan leads the team with five shots and has already posted her first goal of the season.
The KU defense has allowed just one goal in the run of play after the opening two games and have held those team to an average of only nine shots and a total of just five shots on frame. Over the last two seasons the Jayhawks are boasting a goals-against average of 1.03 and have held opponents to 12.3 shots per game during that span. Junior Maddie Dobyns got the start between the posts in KU’s first two outings. She made three saves, allowed two goals and tallied her seventh-career shutout with her clean sheet against Marquette.
About the Buffaloes
The Buffaloes are out to a 2-0-0 start to their 2016 campaign after downing instate rivals Air Force and Colorado State last weekend. Colorado returns four of 11 starters and 14 letterwinners from a squad that went 7-10-3 (1-8-2 Pac-12) and finished 12th in the league’s 2015 regular season standings. Colorado will be looking for its third 3-0-0 start to a season in program history, with the previous two occasions coming in the last three seasons.
The CU offense has been active early in the year, with the squad averaging over 22 shots per match after its first two matches and scoring two goals per game. The Buffaloes have managed to put nearly half of those total shots on frame. Four different players have scored the team’s four goals thus far with sophomore Sarah Kinzner leading the squad her one goal and assist. Four Buffaloes have already tallied six or more shots through the opening weekend.
Colorado has already showed its teeth on the defensive end. The Buffalo opponents amassed just one goal on nine shots in the first weekend, and managed a total of nine shots on frame. CU has split its goalkeeping duties thus far, with sophomore Scout Watson and redshirt freshman Jalen Tompkins each earning a start and playing a half of their team’s first two matches. Combined the duo has a goals-against average of .833 and has tallied five saves.
Danny Sanchez enters his fifth season as the head coach of Colorado women’s soccer team. In four seasons with the Buffaloes, Sanchez has led the team to a 45-32-10 overall record and several program firsts. He already ranks first among the three all-time coaches in winning percentage (.564) and is second in total wins.
Well, Hello Again…
Kansas will welcome in a familiar opponent to Rock Chalk Park on Friday when the Jayhawks meet their former conference foe Colorado. The Jayhawks and Buffaloes were both members of the Big 12 Conference from 1996-2010, meeting 16 times at least once in each of those years. CU held a slight edge over KU during their time as league opponents coming out on top in nine of those 16 matches. The two squads met in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Big 12 Tournament and played to a 1-1 draw, however Colorado advanced on penalty kicks, 5-3. The two teams have met once since the Buffaloes changed conferences. Kansas downed CU in Boulder two seasons ago, 2-1, in overtime.
The Jayhawks and Buffaloes first league titles actually came in back-to-back seasons, with CU claiming the 2003 regular-season title and Kansas winning its first Big 12 championship a year later in 2004.
Feeding on Non-Con
This season, the Jayhawks will try to make it eight-straight seasons with a .500 winning percentage or better against regular-season non-conference foes. Over the start of the 2012 season, Kansas has posted an impressive 28-13-4 mark in its 45 regular-season non-conference matches (66.7%), which includes a 16-6-1 mark since 2014. Since the start of the 2012 season, KU has outscored non-con opponents by a tally of 76-39.
Mark Francis has led KU to a winning record in non-con in 16 of his 17 seasons in Lawrence and is now 107-45-8 in regular season non-conference games.
Last Time Out
Freshman Mandi Duggan’s first career goal less than 20 minutes in proved to be the difference as Kansas claimed its first victory of 2016 after beating Marquette, 1-0, Aug. 21 at Rock Chalk Park. The win moved the Jayhawks to 1-1-0 after the first weekend of play, while the Golden Eagles dropped to 0-2-0.
After conceding its first goal within the first 20 minutes of play in its 2-1 loss to Minnesota on Aug. 19, Kansas flipped the script Sunday by jumping on its opponent with an early goal. In the 19th minute, senior defender Morgan Williams found space down the right side of the field and unleashed a long, curling cross into the heart of the Marquette box. Luckily for Williams and the Jayhawks, Duggan was in a perfect position to connect on a header that leaped passed the Eagle goal keeper and into the back of the net. The goal was the first of Duggan’s young collegiate career and gave the Jayhawks a 1-0 edge less than midway through the opening period.
The Jayhawks continued to take it to the visitors but were unable to put in a second goal over the remainder of the match. Kansas outshot Marquette by a tally of 16-7, which included the Jayhawks putting seven of those shots on frame. The final five minutes were a tense affair with the Eagles throwing numbers forward in hopes of sending in a late equalizer. The Kansas backline held firm and closed out the Jayhawks’ first win of the 2016 campaign as well as its first shutout.
Rebounding on Opening Weekend
Despite its loss to Minnesota on Friday night, Kansas continued its habit of rebounding off a season-opening loss when it claimed its 1-0 win over Marquette two days later. The win kept alive an impressive streak that has developed over Mark Francis’ tenure. The Jayhawks have lost their first match of the season eight times during their 21-year history, but have conceded two-straight losses to open a campaign just twice in that span.
Kansas last began a season with two losses in 1998 and have never started a year 0-2 in head coach Mark Francis’ 18 seasons at the helm in Lawrence. The only other team to drop its first two outings was KU’s inaugural team in 1995. In Francis’ 18 years, his six teams that lost their opening match have established a record of 4-0-2 in their second outing of the year.
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.
Jayhawks Picked Seventh in Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
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).
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.
Just One Will Do It
The 2016 Jayhawks will try 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 54 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 42-8-4. 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.
First to Score, Wins Galore
Over its past 84 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 84-game span, the Jayhawks have been on the losing end only once in the games which they have put in the match’s first goal. Kansas has amassed a record of 41-1-3 in those games, which included an 8-0-1 mark last year. The Jayhawks’ win over Marquette last week marked their 32nd-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 84-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are 2-33-1 in those games over the last four seasons, which includes the Jayhawks’ season-opening loss to the Minnesota Gophers on Aug. 19
Let’s Get Defensive
With the entire KU back line set to return this season, the Jayhawks are once again expected to be a stout defensive team. Over the last two seasons, the Jayhawks shutout 15 opponents and boasted a goals-against average of 1.02. Kansas allowed just 25 goals last year and no more than one opponent goal in all but five of their 21 matches. KU went 307-straight minutes without conceding a goal from Oct. 2-16, the 10th-longest streak in school history and the third streak of over 290 minutes in the last two seasons.
Kansas opponents’ lack of goal scoring may be attributed to the Jayhawks’ ability to keep the opposing team’s shot percentage low. Of the 335 shots KU allowed last season, opponents put just 38 percent of those on target and only got nine percent of those shots past the KU goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
This Day in KU Soccer History:
August 26, 2011 – Freshman Jamie Fletcher’s goal in the 62nd minute proved to the be the game-winner as the Kansas soccer team held on to defeat USC 3-2 in the opening game of the USD Tournament in San Diego. KU junior Whitney Berry also had a big night collecting a goal and two assists. With the win, the Jayhawks improved to 2-1 overall, while the preseason nationally-ranked Trojans fell to 0-3.
During the first 45 minutes, USC held a 10-5 shot advantage but coming out after the break with the score tied 2-2, both teams focused on defense as they combined for just nine shots in the second half.
Facing a tougher time offensively, Fletcher was able to take advantage of one of KU’s five shots in the second half finishing a pass from Berry in the 62nd minute. The goal gave the Jayhawks a 3-2 advantage, which they were able to preserve through the final 28 minutes. It marked Fletcher’s fourth goal and second game-winner this year. Berry led the KU offense with five shots during the contest, including four on goal. Fletcher chipped in with three shots.
The Jayhawks will hit the road for the first time in 2016 when they travel to Brookings, S.D. to take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Sunday, Aug. 28. KU and SDSU will meet for the fourth time in six years when the two squads kick off from Fishback Soccer Park in the match slated for 1 p.m.
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