Late goals propel Jayhawks past No. 24 Bears, 3-1
WACO, Texas – Deadlocked at 1-1 with 10 minutes left in regulation, Kansas struck twice within two minutes and went on to secure a 3-1 victory over the 24th-ranked Baylor Bears Sunday afternoon at Betty Lou Mays Field. Senior Ashley Pankey sent in the eventual game-winner in the 80th minute before senior Jackie Georgoulis sealed the win with her goal just 100 seconds later.
The win moved KU to 9-4-4 in its 2016 campaign and pushed the Jayhawks to 4-1-2 in the Big 12. The loss dropped Baylor to 11-6-1 as the Bears closed out their league slate with a 4-3-1 record.
“Playing Baylor is always a battle and today was no different,” said head coach Mark Francis. “I didn’t think we played particularly well but we really grinded it out, especially late in the second half. This is a great result on the road for us. I’m really proud of this team today.”
With the match appearing to be destined for overtime and the Jayhawks’ third extra time contest in a row, senior Ashley Pankey scored a stellar goal to break the tie with just over 10 minutes left in regulation. The Middletown, New Jersey product took a pass from teammate Morgan Williams to the top left corner of the Baylor penalty area. From there, Pankey slammed a shot home that snuck inside the far post to give her team its second lead of the match.
The goal was the third of the season for Pankey, who scored in her second-straight outing.
The Jayhawks had barley finished celebrating Pankey’s strike before they found the back of the net once again. Just over 100 seconds after reclaiming the lead, Georgoulis sealed the KU victory with a long shot from the left wing. The senior midfielder bent in a cross that appeared to be intended for freshman Katie McClure. The pass narrowly missed a leaping McClure, but the freshman did her job, forcing the Bear keeper to the near post. Georgoulis’ service continued on and found the inside of the far post, giving the senior her second goal of the season and ending any chances of a Baylor comeback.
The match came to an end nine minutes later with a 3-1 Jayhawk victory, marking the first time in program history, KU finished conference play unbeaten on the road.
KU opened the scoring 20 minutes into the match with the help of a freshman defender. Addisyn Merrick played a long free kick from 40 yards out into the heart of the Baylor box. Neither Jayhawks nor Bears could catch up to the well-place ball before it flew into the goal untouched, giving Merrick the first goal of her collegiate career.
The KU lead was short-lived however, with Baylor pulling itself even nine minutes later. A Jayhawk handball inside the KU box gave BU a penalty kick, which sophomore Lauren Piercy was able to convert, tying the match at 1-1, where it would stay until the Pankey goal 40 minutes later.
Kansas was outshot in the match 11-14, but managed to put six of those attempts on target, compared to just five by the home side. Junior Lois Heuchan and McClure led all players with three shots apiece, while Pankey added a pair.
Kansas goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns collected four saves in what was her 20th career victory in goal for the Jayhawks.
Kansas will now close out the regular season when the Jayhawks welcome the Iowa State Cyclones to Lawrence on Friday, Oct. 28. KU and ISU will kick off at 7 p.m., in what will be the final home match for seniors Tayler Estrada, Aurelie Gagnet, Jackie Georgoulis, Hanna Kallmaier, Ashley Pankey, Kaley Smith and Morgan Williams.
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