⚽️ Watts Scores Late to Lift KU to 1-0 Victory
Lawrence, Kan. — Lexi Watts scored her first career goal in the 88th minute of the match to give Kansas the 1-0 victory against Purdue and its fourth straight win on Thursday night at Rock Chalk Park. The goal was assisted by junior forward Shira Elinav.
“We compete really hard,” Head Coach Mark Francis said. “If we come out and compete the way we’re capable of every game, the rest of the stuff will take care of itself. As long as we bring that energy and competitive spirit every time we step on the field, then I feel like we always have a chance.”
With under three minutes remaining in the game, Elinav raced down a ball and sent a cross into the box for Watts. Watts was able to get past the defender and used her right foot to put the ball in the back of the net.
“I’m super excited,” Watts said. “Shira hit a phenomenal ball and I could not have done it without her. She gave me so many opportunities and it was awesome. I’m glad we got one in.”
Despite a scoreless first half, Kansas came out strong against Purdue and had multiple opportunities. In the 10th minute, Elinav had a shot that went just wide of the post. Elinav had another chance in the 23rd minute on a cross from Watts before Watts had an opportunity of her own in the 25th minute, but the Purdue goalkeeper was able to stop both attempts. Kansas outshot Purdue 9-4 in the first half.
Kansas controlled possession for much of the second half and outshot Purdue 6-2 in the period. Neither team was able to score though until Watts’ game-winner in the 88th minute.
After being named Big 12 Goalkeeper of the Week on Tuesday, senior goalkeeper Melania Pasar recorded her third shutout of the season on Thursday. Pasar made three saves in the match, including a diving save in the 24th minute to keep the game even.
Kansas had a 15-6 advantage on shots in the match, including a 6-3 edge for shots on goal. KU has now won four straight games for the first time since 2019. The Jayhawks improve to 4-1, while the Boilermakers fall to 2-3.
Kansas (4-1) will travel to Columbia this weekend to play Missouri on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT and the match will be broadcast on SEC Network.