Miscues cost No. 24 Kansas in 2-1 loss to No. 15 Cowgirls
LAWRENCE, Kan. – An attempt at another comeback came too late as the No. 24 Kansas Jayhawks fell short to the No. 15 Oklahoma State Cowgirls, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at Rock Chalk Park. OSU netted a pair of second-half goals before Grace Hagan netted her fourth of the season in the 90th minute.
Kansas dropped to 7-2-2 overall in 2018, suffering its first loss home, while it evened its league record at 1-1-0. With the win, OSU’s record improved to 10-1-0 for the season and kept the Cowgirls undefeated at 2-0-0 after the first weekend of Big 12 play.
The match marked the third time Kansas welcomed a top-25 opponent to Rock Chalk Park this season, however it was the visitors that left KU’s home pitch with the win, with the defending Big 12 Conference Champions earning their first victory at Rock Chalk Park.
After a physical opening 45 minutes of play that saw the Jayhawks own most of the possession, both squads were unable to break through in the first half. KU held a 6-2 advantage in shots as the two teams headed to the halftime locker rooms.
The Cowgirls broke the scoreless match just three minutes into the second frame when senior forward Haley Woodard stole a ball near midfield and on a breakaway, scored on a chip shot over KU goalkeeper Sarah Peters. It was Woodard’s fifth goal of the season and put the Jayhawks at a deficit for the fourth-consecutive match.
Oklahoma State made a potential KU comeback more difficult 20 minutes later when the Cowgirls struck off a set piece. In the 67th minute, Marlo Zoller dove to meet a free kick service from Kim Rodriquez in the heart of the KU penalty box. Zoller slammed the ball into the back of the Jayhawks’ net for her sixth goal of the season and gave her team a commanding 2-0 lead.
With the clock ticking toward the end of the match, junior Elise Reina sent in a desperation corner kick that found the head of her teammate, Hagan. The senior out of Wichita redirected the ball into the Cowgirl goal for her fourth of the season, however, with only 13 seconds remaining, it proved to be too little, too late.
Kansas ended the match with another dominating outing in the shots column, holding a 21-6 edge over the visitors, as well as a 9-3 tally on corner kicks. Peters ended the afternoon suffering her second loss in goal for the Jayhawks, collecting three saves.
Head coach Mark Francis
On the Jayhawks’ mental mistakes:
“We talked about it at halftime that if you have a mental lapse, (Oklahoma State) will pounce on it. I feel like that is why we lost the game. (We) had two mental lapses and they capitalized on them. Give them credit because the two mistakes that we made and the two opportunities they had, they finished.”
On his team’s play overall:
“Besides the two mental mistakes, I thought we still played pretty well. We wouldn’t create that many opportunities if we weren’t doing something right. It’s a loss and these guys are really good at what they do. We have watched their last three or four games and they’ve done the same things to other people. Against teams that make the most out of every opportunity, which Oklahoma State does a great job of, you just can’t make those types of mental mistakes.”
Senior midfielder Kaycie Young
On the takeaways from this loss:
“We definitely have a style that we want to play and stick with. We had a couple mental lapses towards the end when they scored. We have to learn from it and stick with our game plan, and be patient and play around different styled teams.”
- In the annual “Jayhawks for a Cure” match, Kansas donned pink uniforms to show support of cancer patients, survivors and all who have been affected by the disease, especially those who have lost their lives. The event benefits treatment and research at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Center.
- Sunday marked senior forward Grace Hagan’s 70th-career start for Kansas.
- The two teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime scoreless, the fifth time this season that the Jayhawks did not record a goal in the opening 45 minutes of play.
- Kansas outshot Oklahoma State, 21-6, the most shots the OSU defense has given up this season.
- The Jayhawks’ lone goal of the day, which came in the 90th minute, marked their eighth of the season after the 60th minute of play. That number includes five goals that Kansas has tallied in the final five minutes of regulation or in overtime.
- Oklahoma State now leads the all-time series against the Jayhawks, 12-9-4. Kansas was previously unbeaten against the Cowgirls in its last three outings in Lawrence, which included a 1-1 draw in the most recent meeting at Rock Chalk Park in 2016.
- Sunday’s loss to No. 15 Oklahoma State was Kansas’ first this season when playing on its home pitch. The Jayhawks are now 6-1-0 in their first seven outings at Rock Chalk Park in the 2018 season.
The Jayhawks will close out their three-game homestand in a rare Saturday night match when the Iowa State Cyclones come to Lawrence on Sept. 29. Kickoff against ISU is slated for 7 p.m., at Rock Chalk Park. The match will be broadcast on ESPN+.
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