Jayhawks to Open Regular Season with Arkansas, Pacific

Weekend Notes


Sophomore forward Ashley Williams
Friday at Arkansas
Time 7 p.m. (CT)
Location Fayetteville, Ark.
Venue Razorback Soccer Field
Live Stats KU vs. Ark
Twitter @KUWSoccer | @Razorbacksoccer

Sunday vs. Pacific
Time 12 p.m. (CT)
Location Lawrence, Kan.
Venue Jayhawk Soccer Complex
Live Stats KU vs. Pac
Radio Jayhawk Digital Passport
Twitter @KUWSoccer | @PacificTigers

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas soccer will kickoff the first weekend of the 2013 regular season when it hits the road for Fayetteville, Ark., to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. The Jayhawks will then return to Lawrence to host the Pacific Tigers for their home-opener on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 12 p.m.
Jayhawks on the Air
Starting Sunday, fans can tune into Jayhawk Digital Passport to hear live play-by-play audio of 17 of the Jayhawks’ remaining 18-regular season matches. Throughout 2013 fans can subscribe to Jayhawk Digital Passport in daily, monthly or yearly increments to listen to the play-by-play call of Josh Kurelac. Just go to www.KUAthletics.com/showcase to get your subscription.
Throughout the season fans can also get live updates by logging on to KU soccer’s live stats to get up-to-the-minute stats and updates from every Jayhawk match. Just log on to www.sidearmstats.com/kansas/wsoc during every home game and enjoy. Don’t forget to follow on Twitter at @KUWSoccer for another great way to stay connected to KU Soccer. Tweet #kuwsoccer
Series Histories
Friday’s match in Fayetteville will mark the sixth meeting between the Jayhawks and Razorbacks. The two teams have split the all-time series 2-2-1 with Arkansas coming out on top in the most recent match, a 2-1 overtime win on Aug. 21, 2011. The game Sunday will be the first between Kansas and Pacific. KU boasts an all-time record of 4-3-0 against members of the Big West Conference, outscoring the league 14-11 in seven games played against its teams.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas enters the 2013 season with high hopes, coming off a 10-8-2 finish in 2012. The Jayhawks posted a 10-win season for the 10th time under head coach Mark Francis last season, before falling to Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championships. KU returns five starters from last year’s squad, including four of its top five scorers and three starting defenders.
The Jayhawks feature eight true freshmen and a redshirt freshman on this year’s squad, making this one of Francis’ youngest squads ever with a third of the team having never before suited up for KU. 
Scouting the Razorbacks
Arkansas enters 2013 looking to improve on last season’s 9-10-1 record. The Razorbacks return 19 letterwinners and nine starters from last year when they placed third in the SEC’s West Division with a 6-6-1 record.
Arkansas averaged 1.25 goals per game last season and posted 13.3 shots per contest. Sophomore froward Ashleigh Ellenwood is the team’s top returning scorer after posting six goals and 13 points in 2012.
The Razorback defense held opponents to a 1.75 goals against average in 2012 and allowed 15.5 shots per match. Goalkeeper Kelly Roliard started all 18 of UA’s matches, posted a 1.68 goals against average and a .728 save percentage, but exhausted her eligibility at the end of the season. Arkansas has two freshmen goalkeepers on its 2013 roster, Cameron Carter and Allie Trip,
Colby Hale is in his second year as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks’ women’s soccer program. He enters the season after leading his team to a 9-10-1 record in his first year in Fayetteville, a 4.5-game improvement from the season prior.
Scouting the Tigers
The match against KU will be Pacific’s second of the season as it is slated to take on the Missouri Tigers two days prior to the showdown with the Jayhawks in Columbia. The Tigers return their top three goal scorers from last year, Marciela Padilla (6), Brittni Beeman (4) and Zarette Munoz-Aguilar (2) and are playing their first season as members of the Big West Conference.
The Tigers averaged 1.11 goals per match last season and posted 13.9 shots per contest. Senior forward Padilla led Pacific with six goals and 14 points a year ago, while Lauren Olvera had a team-high four assists.
The Tigers’ defense had a 2.3 goals against average last season and allowed 15.3 shots per match. Senior goalkeeper Tashia Long played in 13 contests last season with eight starts, posted a 2.52 goals against average and a .676 save percentage.
Head coach Keith Coleman is in his 20th season at Pacific. In his time at in Stockton, Coleman has amassed a career record of 167-154-37, and his Tigers have finished their regular season with a .500 or better record in 15 of his 18 years.
Spring Success
In April the Jayhawks completed a 12-game spring exhibition season that saw marked improvement for KU in almost every facet of the game. The highlight of the spring was the Jayhawks’ nine-day trip to central Europe, which saw the team take on women’s squads from four different nations. KU went 4-0 on the trip with its best win coming over the U23 Swiss National Team, 1-0.
The Jayhawks returned stateside to play six more games against NCAA Division I opponents, playing to a 3-1-2 record in that span. KU’s final match of the spring came against Arkansas in Lawrence with the Razorbacks coming out on top 1-0. The Jayhawks will have a chance at payback when the two meet for the 2013 regular-season opener in Fayetteville on Aug. 23.
One for the Record Books
The 2012 Jayhawks rewrote the school record books in several ways a year ago, some due to KU’s stingy defense. Kansas allowed just 3.9 shots on goal per game, the lowest opponent SOG average in program history. The Jayhawks were only issued one yellow card last year, the fewest in a season in program history and second-fewest in the NCAA last season.
Jayhawk Picked Fifth in Preseason Poll     
Kansas soccer is predicted to finish fifth in the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll, which the conference office released Aug. 9.  The ranking marks the sixth time in the 14-year history of the preseason vote that KU has been picked to finish among the top-five teams in the conference.
Defending league champion West Virginia was chosen to win the conference, receiving seven first-place votes and 63 points overall, followed by Texas Tech (55), Baylor (52), Oklahoma State (40), Kansas (33), Texas (31), Oklahoma (21), TCU (19) and Iowa State (10).
For Starters
Kansas returns seven players from last year’s team that started at least 10 games, which finished the season at 10-8-2. Included in the seven returning starters are four of the team’s top five scorers from a year ago.
Those starters back for the 2013 campaign include three forwards, senior Caroline Kastor (11 goals, 24 pts) and sophomore forwards Ashley Williams (eight goals, two assists) and Courtney Dickerson (four goals, two assists),  one midfielder in junior Jamie Fletcher (three goals, six assists) as well as three defenders in senior Madi Hillis and juniors Haley Yearout and Caroline Van Slambrouck.
KU also brings back 2011 Big 12 All-Newcomer honoree, redshirt sophomore Liana Salazar, who started all of KU’s 21 matches as a freshman in 2011 before redshirting last season. Salazar tallied five goals and an assist in her rookie season.
New Batch
This weekend’s contests could feature as many as six newcomers to the Kansas lineup. KU has seven true freshmen this season, however Aurélie Gagnet is not yet in Lawrence as she is currently playing with her native France’s U19 National Team in the EUFA European Championship. Those who could see action Sunday are goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns, defender Tayler Estrada, forward Ashley Pankey, defender Morgan Williams, midfielder Jackie Georgoulis and defender Jen Rush.
Sweet Caroline
Kansas senior forward Caroline Kastor is looking to move up in the school’s record books this season. Kastor enters the 2013 season ranked sixth in career points (51), sixth in goals (20) and seventh in game-winning goals (6). The senior’s 20 goals are just three shy of Whitney Berry’s, Monica Dolinsky’s and  Emily Cressy’s career totals of 23, which ties for third most at KU’s all-time.
Up Next
KU will once again hit the road when the Jayhawks visit Missouri State in Springfield, Mo. on Friday, Aug. 30. The Jayhawks and Bears will play their fourth match in as many years when the two teams take the field for the 6 p.m. kickoff. Kansas will again turnaround to play host two days later when it welcomes Purdue to Lawrence on Sunday, Sept. 1. The Jayhawks and Boilermakers or slated to start at 1 p.m. from the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.