No. 9 Mountaineers shut out Jayhawks on Senior Night, 2-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Two goals off set pieces proved to be too much to overcome for the Kansas soccer team as the No. 9 West Virginia Mountaineers topped the Jayhawks, 2-0, Friday night at Rock Chalk Park. Kansas closed out Big 12 play finishing sixth on the league table and will be the No. 6 seed in next week’s Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks will take on No. 3 seed TCU in the quarterfinals.
The loss to WVU dropped Kansas to 8-9-2 in the regular season, with a 3-5-1 record in the conference play. West Virginia moved to 14-3-1 in its 2017 campaign and closed out league play with a 7-1-1 record.
“I thought the kids played well; I thought we played hard, I thought they executed what we told them to do,” said head coach Mark Francis. “But if you don’t defend well on set pieces, which we knew we had to do, West Virginia is going to make you pay, and that’s what happened tonight. To be honest, in the attacking third today we just weren’t sharp tonight. Our final pass was really what let us down. The final ball to get us in, or our service from wide, a few times we didn’t get in those positions. It’s disappointing.”
The Mountaineers needed less than 15 minutes to net the game’s first goal. After a foul down the left side of the Jayhawks’ end of the field WVU’s Carla Portillo played a curling cross into the KU box off the impending free kick. The pass slammed off the foot of her teammate, Alli Magaletta, and was rerouted into the KU goal to give the visitors the early 1-0 lead.
The Jayhawks struggled to gain momentum in the first stanza, managing just three shots during the opening 45 minutes.
In the 71st minute, West Virginia got its second goal off a set piece, this time off a corner kick. Partillo’s service found the head of Michaela Abam, who connected on her seventh goal of the season.
WVU held strong for the remainder of the match, holding the Jayhawks to just two shots over the final 45 minutes of action.
KU closed out the game amassing just five total shots compared to 12 for the Mountaineers. The Jayhawks put two of those five shots on frame. KU goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns made one save on the night, bringing her career total to 192.
The Jayhawks have clinched the No. 6 seed in next week’s Big 12 Championship, which will be at Swope Soccer Village hosted in Kansas City, Mo. Kansas will play the No. 3 seed TCU in the tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. (CT). A win in the quarterfinal match would advance KU to the semifinals to play the winner of the No. 2-seed West Virginia vs. No. 7-seed Texas Tech at 7 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 3.
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