No. 22 Nebraska shuts out Kansas, 3-0

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – In its 2017 season opener, Kansas soccer fell to nationally-ranked Nebraska, 3-0, on Friday night at Rock Chalk Park.
The No. 22 Cornhuskers (1-0) capitalized on the Jayhawks’ (0-1) defensive miscues allowing NU to take an early lead and then extending that lead late in the first half. Although the shot attempts were equal through the first 45 minutes of play, Nebraska was able to make two of its attempts count.
“It’s a long season and a disappointing one right off the bat,” said Kansas head coach Mark Francis. “But that’s why we play the schedule that we do. We learned a lot today about some things that we can get better at and some personnel things to think about, like who is playing where.”
Sophomore forward Katie McClure nearly gave Kansas a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes of the match, but her first shot attempt of the 2017 campaign ricocheted off the left post. Kansas had another close call early on, but Nebraska’s back line kept the shutout intact.Senior Hannah Lukinac
“I think we competed well, but the difference is that we have some young kids that are making some mistakes,” Francis said. “And we are getting punished for them against a preseason top-25 team. We still created some opportunities and Nebraska did a good job defending those.”
In the seventh minute, the Cornhuskers took the lead after junior midfielder Michaela Loebel found sophomore midfielder Meg Brandt on the six-yard line. Brandt punched the ball into the back of the net, giving Nebraska a 1-0 advantage.
The Cornhuskers added to their lead in the 37th minute after senior midfielder Haley Hanson found sophomore forward Elyse Huber, who headed the ball past KU’s defense. Huber’s first goal of the season increased Nebraska’s lead, 2-0.
At the end of the first half, the Jayhawks and Cornhuskers had each posted six shots and two saves. KU freshman midfielder Ceri Holland led the squad with three shots, including one on goal, in the opening 45 minutes.
“On our individual defending, we got punished for those two mistakes,” said Francis. “You have to give Nebraska credit. At halftime it was six shots each and they are winning two to nothing because they converted two of the opportunities that they had and we didn’t. We had two good chances.”  
Both teams fought for possession and control entering the second half of the match. Nebraska took the first shot of the latter 45 minutes, but KU senior goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns came off her line to record her third save of the game. She ended the night with five saves.
Senior midfielder Alli Peterson gave the Cornhuskers a 3-0 advantage after heading the ball into the goal in the 67th minute. Peterson’s goal came off another header during a set piece. Nebraska continued to apply pressure on KU’s back line as the clock wound down.  
Unable to overcome the 3-0 deficit, Kansas fell to the nationally-ranked Cornhuskers in the season opener. The Jayhawks continue action at the Rock Chalk Invitational against Central Michigan on Sunday, Aug. 20, at 1 p.m. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.