No. 16 Kansas settles for 0-0 draw at Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – With the help of another strong defensive showing, the No.16-ranked Kansas Jayhawks battled to a 0-0 draw against the Cincinnati Bearcats Thursday night inside Gettler Stadium. Kansas outshot the home side by a tally of 19-7, however was unable to find the back of the net, settling for its second draw of the season but keeping its undefeated record intact, now at 5-0-2.
Taking on a team that was touting a 15-match unbeaten streak on its home field, Kansas didn’t seem intimated right from the opening whistle. The KU offense was lead in the early minutes by senior Grace Hagan, who seemed keen on putting in her first goal of the young season. The Wichita product tallied three shots in the opening 45 minutes, one of which skidded off the far post, just inches away from logging the game’s opening goal
It was more of the same in the second frame, with the KU defense making life difficult for the Bearcat offense, and the Jayhawk attack creating chances early and often. After tallying five shots in the opening half, KU amassed six shots in the first 10 minutes following halftime, but again, none got past Cincinnati goalkeeper, Claudia Eustaquio.
The Jayhawks were forced to go to their third overtime period on their last four outings and did everything they could to net the golden goal. Hagan and fellow forward Katie McClure each saw prime opportunities in the 20 minutes of extra time, but luck was not on their side, as the match ended in a scoreless draw.
Kansas closed out the match with 19 shots as opposed to Cincinnati’s seven. Hagan tallied eight of those shots, a career high and the most by a Jayhawk since 2015. Kansas goalkeeper Sarah Peters and the Jayhawk defense was once again stellar, tallying KU’s fifth shutout of the year and holding the Bearcats to just one shot on goal.
Head coach Mark Francis
On his team’s performance:
“I thought we played really well today. Our energy was good. We put them under a lot of pressure defensively when we lost the ball. I thought our movement, up top in the attacking half, like the movement of our front two and our attacking midfielders and our wide guys getting in (was good). All the things that we’ve talked about and worked on, today I thought we were really good at.”
On the team’s defense being so effective so far this season:
“It was really a collective effort, I thought, by all the defenders who came in (to play). We’ve been very solid. We worked a lot in preseason just on our defensive shape and our individual group defending that allow people opportunities. The backs are doing well. We’re making it difficult for people to score on us, that’s for sure.”
Senior Grace Hagan
On the overall take of the game:
“I really do think it is a game we could have had. We played good soccer today, moving the ball around well. I bet we had the ball 60 percent of the game, but when it came down to it we could not finish. (We’re) Happy to not get a loss today, but it feels like one because I think we deserved that win.”
On her mentality to getting her first goal:
“I think after the first couple games I became frustrated. Moving forward, I am trying not to get frustrated, trying to find the right shot and the right ball when I have it. But, if I don’t, just move it around and it will come.”
- Thursday’s match was the two teams’ first meeting in history. Ending in a draw, the all-time match-up moved to 0-0-1. Kansas moved to 5-0-2 on the year, while Cincinnati moved to 3-2-1.
- Senior forward Grace Hagan had a team-leading eight shots on the night, outshooting the entire Bearcats team who had seven.
- Hagan’s eight attempts were the most by a Jayhawks since the 2015 season, when Ashley Williams logged eight shots against South Dakota State (9/25/2015).
- Kansas opened the second half with six shots in the first 10 minutes. In the game, the Jayhawks outshot the Bearcats 19-7.
- Freshman defender Bri Amos picked up her first yellow card of the season, in the 79th minute of play, after being called for a handball. It was the Jayhawks’ second caution of the year.
- With the 0-0 draw, Kansas has tallied its first unbeaten start to a season following seven games since 2014 and the second time in head coach Mark Francis’ 20 seasons in Lawrence.
- Freshman Sarah Peters improved her record to 5-0-2 between the posts this season. The Lee’s Summit, Missouri, native has played all 686:11 minutes in goal for KU this season, amassing a goals-against average of 0.26.
KU will head to Pittsburgh for a match with the Panthers on Sunday, Sept. 9. First touch from Ambrose Urbanic Field is slated for 12 p.m. (CT) and will be broadcast on ACC Network Plus. The Jayhawks will then be back in Lawrence for their final nonconference home game of the regular season on Friday, Sept. 14 when they meet Saint Louis. Kickoff from Rock Chalk Park is set for 7 p.m., on ESPN+.
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