Late rally lifts Kansas over Missouri State, 2-1
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Two goals in the final 20 minutes helped KU complete a valiant comeback win over Missouri State, 2-1, Saturday afternoon at Rock Chalk Park. Chais Wright knotted up the score at 1-1 in the 71st minute before Taylor Christie netted the game-winner with 55 seconds to play in regulation. The win kept the Jayhawks unbeaten in their spring exhibition season, now sitting at 6-0-1 with two games remaining.
After a hard fought 45 minutes, the Jayhawks had seven shots to Missouri State’s two but the game remained scoreless. Most of the game was spent on the offensive half. Rain began to fall late in the opening stanza but that did not deter either side from an all-out effort.
“I thought our final pass was off in the first half and I think we over-hit our final pass,” said head coach Mark Francis.
The Jayhawks started off the second half strong with two quick shots on frame in the 45th minute of play but both were stopped by the Bears’ goalkeeper.
“I thought our final ball was better in the second half and we tried to play it on the ground more than in the air because of the wet surface, so it kept skipping when we were trying to play free ball,” said Francis. “When we played it on the ground I think we created some chances from that.”
In the 65th minute of play, a Jayhawk defender was attempting to kick the ball out of the box but bad contact and heavy wind forced the ball back into the Kansas net for an own goal and KU found itself trailing, 1-0, with less than 25 minutes to play.
Kanas would not give up though and finally managed to break through six minutes later. A pass by Miriam Melugin to Chais Wright in the 71st minute put the Jayhawks on the board to tie the game at 1-1.
In an exciting finish, Taylor Christie slotted home an unassisted goal with 55 seconds left in regulation to seal the victory for Kansas, 2-1.
“It was good that we kept going at them and then we were able to get the winner,” said Francis. “Taylor finished it really well right at the end. It was nice to get the win and I think some of the things we’ve worked on this spring came out in the game which was good.”
KU has two games remaining in its spring schedule and will play its final spring match in Lawrence on Monday, April 16. The Sporting KC U14 Boys Academy will kick off against the Jayhawks from Rock Chalk Park at 7 p.m. Kansas will then close out the spring when it takes on Air Force on Sunday, April 22 in Colorado Springs. The start time against the Falcons is set for 12 p.m. (CT).
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