McClure’s strike in the 90th hands Kansas 2-1 win
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomore Katie McClure redirected a pass to the back of the net with less than 30 seconds remaining to give Kansas a 2-1 win over the Sporting KC Academy U14 Boys Monday night in spring exhibition play. The goal helped the Jayhawks keep their unbeaten spring season alive as KU now sits at 7-0-2 with one game remaining.
“To come back from behind again after doing the same thing Saturday definitely shows some resiliency,” said head coach Mark Francis. “This was a really good game for us. The boys gave us a great game. They were very good, very quick. It was definitely the biggest defensive test we’ve faced this spring and I thought we defended really well. It was good to see us stretched against a team that was really athletic and I thought we handled it really well.”
Sporting KC struck first after catching the KU defense out of position in the 20th minute. A long service down field got in behind the Jayhawk back line and set up a one-on-one scoring chance for the SKC striker, who shot in the goal to give his squad the early edge.
That lead didn’t last long though as Elise Reina managed to get the Jayhawks on the board just five minute later. A Jayhawk corner kick ended with a hard rebound out to the top of the KU box. Reina ran it down and let loose a left-footed strike that flew inside the right post to knot up the score at 1-1.
SKC came close to regaining the lead on several occasions early in the second half, even hitting the crossbar in the 55th minute, but was never able to find the KU goal. Sporting’s offense kept the pressure on the KU back line the entire second frame, forcing KU keeper Lauren Breshears into six second half saves.
With the score still level and the clock ticking under a 30 seconds in regulation, Grace Hagan gained possession at the end line before sending in a low pass toward the near post. McClure met the service at the six-yard box and redirected the pass in the SKC goal to seal the KU victory.
The Jayhawks are slated to close out their spring season on Sunday, April 22 when they journey to Colorado Springs for a match with Air Force. Kickoff versus the Falcons is set for 12 p.m. (CT).
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