Twelve Rock Chalk Park Matches Highlight 2014 Schedule
|2014 Kansas Soccer Schedule|
|Aug. 15||South Dakota State (Exh.)||Lawrence, Kan.||7 p.m.|
|Aug. 22||Wyoming||Lawrence, Kan.||7 p.m.|
|Aug. 24||SMU (TV)||Lawrence, Kan.||1 p.m.|
|Aug. 29||UT-San Antonio||Lawrence, Kan.||7 p.m.|
|Aug. 31||Wake Forest (TV)||Lawrence, Kan.||1 p.m.|
|Sept. 5||at Colorado||Boulder, Colo.||5:30 p.m.|
|Sept. 7||at Denver||Denver, Colo.||1 p.m.|
|Sept. 12||Cal State-Fullerton||Lawrence, Kan.||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 14||UMKC (TV)||Lawrence, Kan.||1 p.m.|
|Sept. 19||at Marquette||Milwaukee, Wis.||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 21||St. Mary’s (CA)||Lawrence, Kan.||1 p.m.|
|Sept. 26||at Baylor*||Waco, Texas||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 28||at TCU*||Fort Worth, Texas||1 p.m.|
|Oct. 3||Oklahoma State*||Lawrence, Kan.||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 5||Missouri State (TV)||Lawrence, Kan.||1 p.m.|
|Oct. 10||at Texas*||Austin, Texas||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 17||Texas Tech*||Lawrence, Kan.||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 19||West Virginia* (TV)||Lawrence, Kan.||1 p.m.|
|Oct. 24||Iowa State*||Lawrence, Kan.||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 31||at Oklahoma||Norman, Okla.||7 p.m.|
|Big 12 Championship|
|Nov. 5-Nov. 9||Big 12 Tournament||Kansas City, Mo.||TBA|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Fans will enjoy ample opportunities to watch Kansas soccer’s fall campaign as the Jayhawks will host 12 of their 19 regular-season games at newly-constructed Rock Chalk Park it was announced Thursday with the release of KU’s 2014 schedule. Kansas will face another demanding slate as it will go up against seven 2013 NCAA tournament teams as well as three conference champions from a year ago.
The highlight of this year’s 2014 campaign will be the dozen outings at the Jayhawks’ new state-of-the-art facility at Rock Chalk Park. For the first time since the program’s inception in 1995, Kansas will play regular-season home games away from the Jayhawk Soccer Complex and move into what many consider will be one of the top collegiate facilities in the country.
“It’s a phenomenal facility,” said head coach Mark Francis. “We waited 15 years for it and it was worth the wait. Home field advantage is always nice because you don’t have to travel but when you get to play in a facility like that, you get pumped. It will be a great experience for the players and recruits we bring in. It’s going to help a lot.”
Kansas will begin its year with a formidable non-conference stretch that few recent Jayhawk teams have experienced. Five of Kansas’ 11 non-conference opponents won 12 or more games a year ago with four of those advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
“In non-conference you want to have some tough games that are going to be good RPI games,” explained Francis. “I did that with getting into the postseason in mind. In our conference we obviously have some good teams too, but those non-conference games that will boost our RPI as well are also important so we’ve got some of those in there.”
As has always been the case, the Big 12 will field one of the most competitive soccer conferences in the nation. In 2013, the league saw five of its nine teams finish inside the top-60 of the RPI and advanced at least two teams to the second round of the NCAA Championship for the 16th time in the league’s 18-year history.
“We’ve got to win our home games (in conference),” said Francis. “You’ve only got eight conference games and four of those are at home so you really need to win at home. Then hopefully you can get a couple on the road. That will be what we need to do in conference this year.”
The 2014 season will kick off on Friday, Aug. 22 when the Jayhawks officially open their new home facility at Rock Chalk Park. The Wyoming Cowgirls will come into Lawrence for a 7 p.m. bout under the lights. Two days later, KU will welcome the SMU Mustangs to Lawrence for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Francis was a three-time All-American for the SMU men’s team during his collegiate career from 1984-86. The game versus the visitors from Dallas will also be the first of five Jayhawk home games televised on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.
The following weekend the Wake Forest Demon Deacons come to Lawrence for what will likely be the most anticipated of the Jayhawks’ non-conference matches. The game, which is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31, will put Kansas up against a Wake Forest team which advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and has won 12 or more games each of the last three seasons.
Kansas will then hit the road for the first time of the season when it heads west to familiar territory when it faces former Big 12 foe Colorado on Friday, Sept. 5. The Buffaloes are coming off their best season in program history after advancing the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 and ending the year with a No. 22 RPI ranking. The Jayhawks, who have lost their last three games against Colorado, will kick off in Boulder at 5:30 p.m. (CT).
The daunting Colorado swing will continue for KU two days later when the group goes up against the defending Summit League Champion Denver Pioneers. Under head coach Jeff Hooker, Denver has won 16 or more games each of the last six seasons and ended 2013 with an RPI ranking of 17. The Jayhawks and Pioneers continue a young rivalry formed over the past six years. Kansas defeated DU in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2008, however the Pioneers have come out on top their last two outings with the Jayhawks, most recently picking up a 1-0 win in Lawrence in 2012. KU and Denver will kick off from CIBER Field on Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. (CT).
KU will return to the friendly confines of Rock Chalk Park on Friday, Sept. 12 to host Cal State-Northridge in another 7 p.m. game, before welcoming UMKC on Sept. 14 for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.
Another stern test then awaits the Jayhawks as they will hit the road once again to face two-time defending BIG EAST Champion Marquette Golden Eagles in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. MU will return six starters from the squad that posted an 18-win year in 2013 and ended with a No. 6 RPI ranking, the highest of any of KU’s 2014 opponents. The two squads will meet for the first time in the game slated for 7 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 19.
The following week KU will begin its Big 12 campaign with a pair of road contests in the Lone Star State. The Baylor Bears will look to avenge the Jayhawks on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m., after Kansas pulled off a 2-0 upset in Lawrence last season. Kansas will head north two days later to face TCU on Sept. 28, for a 1 p.m. start in Fort Worth.
Kansas will kick off October, as well as a closing stretch that will see the Jayhawks at home in five of its last seven-regular season games, when the Oklahoma State Cowgirls come to Lawrence. OSU returns a strong nucleus from the team that advanced to the Big 12 Tournament championship game as well as the NCAA Tournament last season. After the Cowgirls took a 9-8-3 lead in the all-time series with their 2-0 win in 2013, the Jayhawks will hope to knot the series back up in the match set for Friday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.
After a quick non-conference home date with the Missouri State Bears on Oct. 5 at 1 p.m., the Jayhawks will journey to Austin, Texas to take on the Longhorns on Friday, Oct. 7 inside Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Kansas will then return home to Lawrence for a big weekend against two of the Big 12’s elite. First, the Jayhawks will go up against Texas Tech on Friday, Oct. 17, a team which has finished among the top-three of the league standings each of the last two seasons and picked up 18 wins in 2013. The Jayhawks and Red Raiders will do battle at Rock Chalk Park at 7 p.m.
Two days later, the Big 12’s defending regular-season and tournament champion, West Virginia, comes to town for a 1 p.m., match on Oct. 19. The Jayhawks may have extra motivation against the Mountaineers after WVU topped KU twice in 2013, which included handing the Jayhawks their final loss of the season (3-0) in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship. The game will be the final match of the season televised by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.
Senior night is set for Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., when Kansas hosts Iowa State in its final home game of the regular season. KU will close out the regular season the following week when it travels to Norman, Oklahoma, to take on the Oklahoma Sooners for a Halloween match on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. The Jayhawks also faced the Sooners in the 2013 regular-season finale, coming up with a thrilling 2-1 win in the final seconds to secure a spot in the Big 12 Championship.
If the Jayhawks are among the top-eight teams in the league standings come season’s end, they will make the short trip to Kansas City, Missouri for the second-straight year when Swope Park Soccer Village hosts the Big 12 Championship Nov. 5-9.
“It was great having (the Big 12 Tournament) so close last year,” concluded Francis. “For us, we don’t have to go very far so that’s really nice. It’s definitely nice advantage for us to have it out here and hopefully we can get some fans out there to support us.”
Fans will be able to get their first glimpse of the 2014 Jayhawk squad, as well as Rock Chalk Park, when Kansas holds an exhibition versus South Dakota State on Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.
For season and single-game ticket information, visit KUAthletics.com or call 1-800-34-HAWKS.
- Seven games versus teams that played in the NCAA Tournament in 2013.
- Twelve of 19 regular-season games will be played at newly-constructed Rock Chalk Park.
- Five home games will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.
- KU will play eight games against teams that ended last season ranked inside the top-50 of the RPI.
- Five non-conference games versus teams that won 12 games or more in 2013.
- Three matches versus 2013 conference champions.
- Six Friday night games at Rock Chalk Park.
- Five matches against teams that ended 2013 ranked inside the top-25 of the NSCAA Coaches Poll.
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