No. 19 Kansas and Saint Louis play to 1-1 draw
ST. LOUIS – One hundred and ten minutes were not enough to separate the No. 19 Kansas Jayhawks and the Saint Louis Billikens Friday night in front of a record crowd amassed inside Hermann Stadium. Sophomore Katie McClure netted KU’s lone goal, her second in as many games.
The draw lifted Kansas’ unbeaten streak to six games, and pushed their record to 5-1-1. The Billikens remained unbeaten in their 2017 season, now sitting at 6-0-1.
“We were really good today at times, I just didn’t think we were consistent enough over the full 110 minutes,” said head coach Mark Francis. “I was impressed with Saint Louis. They were very athletic and competed very well. I thought our backs were fantastic today, dealing with their attacking players. Now we need to regroup, recover and get ready for Texas A&M on Sunday.”
Kansas found itself against a pesky Saint Louis squad that entered the match off to its best start in program history in addition to more than 5,000 Billiken fans in attendance. Despite a hard-played opening half, neither side was able to find the back of the net. However Kansas saw two chances that nearly put them ahead in the first frame.
In the 17th minute, junior Grace Hagan found senior Lois Heuchan on the end of a cross stationed at the far post. Nothing but air stood between Heuchan and her second goal of the season, however her redirect rocketed just high of the crossbar and out of play.
Two minutes prior to the halftime whistle, sophomore Taylor Christie faced a one-on-one opportunity with the SLU goalkeeper, Mary Niehaus. Christie baited the Billiken toward the right post and sent in a low shot toward the far post, but her attempt rolled inches wide of the post.
The Jayhawks finally broke through less than 12 minutes into the second half. Sophomore Eva Elliasdottir connected with McClure on a long pass into the SLU 18-yard box. McClure beat her defender and then outpaced the goalkeeper before slotting home her second goal of the season.
Kansas could only hang on to the lead for 12 minutes when the home side leveled the score in the 64th minute. Saint Louis’ Annabelle Copeland managed to get behind the KU back line and sent in a shot from 10 yards out that flew just out of the reach of the KU goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns. The goal was the first KU had allowed in the run of play in over 530 minutes.
Neither side could net the game winner over the final 25 minutes of regulation and additional 20 minutes of extra time. The Jayhawks were forced to settle for their first draw of the 2017 season, despite outshooting the home team by a tally of 17-9, which included an 11-5 advantage in the second half and overtime.
The Jayhawks will play their final home match of the nonconference season when KU takes on former Big 12 foe, No. 10 Texas A&M, at Rock Chalk Park on Sunday, Sept. 10. The game, which will pit Kansas against its second top-10 team in a span of seven days, is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and will be televised on Spectrum Sports and ESPN3.
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