Wildcats hold off Jayhawks, 1-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Some late heroics from Kansas State goalkeeper Miranda Larkin helped stave off a last stitch rally from the Jayhawks as KSU managed to fend off Kansas, 1-0, Friday night at Rock Chalk Park. The match marked the first edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown in soccer, with a record crowd of 2,514 in the stands, the highest-attended NCAA DI women’s soccer match ever to be held in the state of Kansas.
The loss dropped the Jayhawks to 6-6-2 on the season, as well as 1-2-1 in Big 12 play. The victory lifted Kansas State to 6-6-1 in its campaign and a league record of 1-2-1.
“Really disappointed, probably the most disappointing result of the season so far, to have that many opportunities and not capitalize on them,” said Mark Francis after the match. “You’ve got to give (K-State) credit, they worked hard to get ahead and they battled hard. I thought we did enough to win the game aside from the scoring and that was it. Unfortunately in our sport that’s the way it works. We probably had six or seven game-defining opportunities and we just don’t execute.”
With less than two minutes remaining in the match and the Jayhawks down 1-0 and scrambling to find the equalizing goal, KU put together some of their best attacks of the day, but could not solve KSU’s senior keeper, Larkin. Senior Lois Heuchan connected on a point-blank attempt from just inside the six-yard box that Larkin somehow managed to deflected out of bounds. Seconds later, a header from Sophie Maierhofer flew just inches over the KSU cross bar. With just 10 second left before the final buzzer, Ceri Holland got on the end of a long cross into the box. Her header looked primed to tie up the match with seconds to spare, however Larkin was there for her ninth and final save of the match, tipping the attempt over the crossbar just before time expired.
The clock hit 90 minutes moments later with the Wildcats taking round one of the Sunflower Showdown.
While the pace may have not been as frantic as the final minutes, the rest of the match was also largely dominated by the home side. KU kicked off the game, outshooting their new in-state rivals 6-0 in the first 15 minutes. That included a try by Hagan that slammed off the crossbar in the eighth minute, a try that would end up being a foreshadowing of the way the rest of the match would go for the Jayhawks.
Kansas went into the second half with a 10-4 edge in the shot count, however it was KSU’s first shot of the second frame that ended up being the difference in the game.
Less than two minutes after the restart, Wildcat midfielder Katie Cramer played a long ball to the top of the KU box. The only KSU player within 20 yards of the pass was forward Hannah Davis, who beat the KU defenders as well as goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns to the ball, before sending in a shot that hit the right post and into the back of the Jayhawk net.
That KSU goal ended up being the Wildcats only shot of the second period as KU countered with 15 tries of its own, however none found the back of the net.
KU ended the match with a season-high 25 shots to KSU’s five, an opponent low of the Jayhawks this year. Hagan led all players with her five shots, with Heuchan and Katie McClure each tallying four apiece.
Dobyns made two saves in the loss and was called into action to defend five KSU corner kicks.
The Jayhawks return to the pitch at Rock Chalk Park when they face the Texas Longhorns on Friday, October 13. UT has yet to lose a match this season and is just a week removed from handing West Virginia its first regular-season conference loss since 2013. First touch from Rock Chalk Park is slated for 7 p.m., and will be streamed on KUAthletics.com.FOLLOW
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.