Williams’ Hat Trick Lifts Jayhawks in Spring Finale
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior Ashley Williams found the back of the net three times as the Jayhawks dispatched of the Creighton Bluejays, 5-0, in Kansas’ final spring exhibition of 2015. Freshman Eli Mayr and junior Courtney Dickerson also added goals and joined their Jayhawk teammates in tallying the squad’s third shutout of the spring.
“The spring has been really good,” said head coach Mark Francis. “The think we have achieved the things we set out to accomplish. Our mentality in practice and in games has been great. We made it really hard for teams to play because we’ve been really strong on the defensive end and I think our speed of play definitely improved over the last few weeks. There’s no doubt that we made big strides and had a really good spring.”
Neither squad managed to create much in the way of offense over the opening 30 minutes of the match. That changed, however, in the 30th minute when Williams broke the 0-0 deadlock. Jackie Georgoulis sent in bending free kick from 30 yards out into the Bluejay penalty are where Williams was waiting. She gained possession and sent in her first goal of the night from eight yards out.
After the Jayhawks took the 1-0 advantage into the halftime lockerroom, the home team didn’t waste much time in extending its lead in the second half. Eli Mayr was found at the end of a run, where she quickly evaded the last remaining defender and beat the Bluejay keeper to slot home Kansas’ second goal of the game.
Ten minutes later, Williams entered the score sheet again when she found herself in the right place at the right time. Dickerson sent a low, well-placed cross into the eight-yard box, which Williams used one touch to redirect the ball for her second goal of the evening.
Williams completed her hat trick only three minutes later when she knocked home an open look near the penalty kick spot. The goal would’ve marked the first hat trick of Williams’ collegiate career had the match been during the regular season, but still gave her team a commanding 4-0 lead with 30 minutes still to play.
Dickerson posted Kansas’ final goal of the day in the 81st-minute. The junior outsprinted the Creighton defenders to a free ball in the Creighton penalty box and promptly sent in a perfectly-placed lob shot over the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper.
The 5-0 score held for the final nine minutes of action and the Jayhawks earned their third and final victory of the 2015 spring season.
Kansas is set to announce its 2015 regular-season schedule next month and is expected to return eight of 11 starters from last season’s squad that finished 15-6-0 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history.
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