Freshman forward Grace Hagan
|Stats at a Glance
|Shot on Goal %
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After falling in a pair of overtime matches last weekend, the Kansas soccer team will look to get back on track with a trip to Laramie, Wyo., this Friday, Sept. 11. The Jayhawks will face the Wyoming Cowgirls, who are unbeaten in their first five contests of the season. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. (CT) and will be available online via the Mountain West Network.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
The Jayhawks are coming off a pair of tough overtime losses at the hands of Santa Clara and Oregon State last weekend in Lawrence. Kansas has been shutout in four in its first six matches, but has allowed just four goals in its last 547 minutes of game action. KU has also outshot each of its first six opponents.
The KU offense has been up and down thus far in the 2015 campaign, seeing multi-goal outings in a pair of matches, but also being shutout in the remaining four. Kansas is averaging over 14 shots per match and has also put over 41 percent of those shots on target. Kansas has seen a different goal scorer for each of its four goals, which includes Liana Salazar, who leads the squad with 17 shots on the year. As an offense, Kansas returns 11 of the 14 players who contributed at least one goal or an assist in 2014.
The Jayhawk defense has allowed a goal in each of its last four outings, with three of those being netted within the final 10 minutes of regulation or overtime. Jayhawk opponents have notched only 10.2 shots per game with a total of 29 on target or an average of 4.8 per match. Sophomore Maddie Dobyns has started all six matches in goal for the Jayhawks. She is boasting a save percentage of .760 and has a goals-against average of 1.02 with 19 saves in her first six outings of 2015. On Aug. 23, Dobyns tallied her first career shutout in the Jayhawks’ 0-0 draw at Minnesota.
ABOUT THE COWGIRLS
For the second-straight match, the Jayhawks will go up against a team that is still unbeaten in its 2015 campaign, with Wyoming out to a 2-0-3 start. Last weekend, the Cowgirls picked up a pair of wins at home, defeating Morehead State, 1-0, before topping Drake, 3-1, two days later. Wyoming’s unbeaten start is its best in program history.
The UW offense has been active over its first five outings of the season. The Cowgirls are averaging just over 15 shots per game but have gotten only eight percent of those tries into the back of the net. Seven different players have notched either a goal or an assist for Wyoming this season. Sophomore forward Shaina Ashouri has already tallied a team-leading three goals on 15 shots. Ashouri tallied two goals against Drake last weekend, which earned her Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors.
The Cowgirl defense has been stingy to start the 2015 campaign, allowing just three goals and boasting a minuscule goals-against average of 0.52. UW has allowed an average of 8.8 opponent shots in its first five games, which included just four attempts from Morehead State on Sept. 4. Sophomore Georgia Rowntree and redshirt freshman Cassidy Entsminger have split time as the Cowgirls’ goalkeeper so far this season. Rowntree has started each match, but Ensminger has been inserted into the lineup at halftime in four of her team’s five matches. Together, Rowntree and Entsminger have combined for 15 saves, a goals-against average of 0.52 and a save percentage of .833.
Pete Cuadrado is in his fourth year as the head coach of the Wyoming women’s soccer program. In 2014, Cuadrado received Mountain West Coach of the Year accolades. He also coached Wyoming to a perfect 6-0-0 record at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex for the first undefeated home record in program history.
This weekend the Jayhawks will once again hit the road for a pair of matches away from the friendly confines of Rock Chalk Park. Kansas should be used to playing away from home by now, with seven of its first nine matches on the road. This might be a daunting fact for most teams, but the Jayhawks can hang their hat on an impressive record in road games over the past year-and-a-half. KU has played 11 true road games since the start of the 2014 season, amassing a record of 7-2-1, which includes a 2-1-1 record this year.
When Kansas has played on the road in that span, the Jayhawks have held their opponents to a goals-against average of 0.70, have tallied five clean sheets and have outshot teams by an average of 12.6-11.1 shots per game. Nine different Jayhawks have scored at least one goal in that span, with Liana Salazar netting three goals and three assists in road matches in the last year. Jayhawk goalkeepers have also been stout away from home since the start of last season, allowing just eight goals, tallying 48 saves and amassing a save percentage of .857.
LIMITING LATE GOALS
Kansas was forced to endure two golden-goal losses last weekend, which has been a rarity for the Jayhawk program over the last three-plus seasons. In fact, giving up any goals in the waning minutes of a match have been an uncommon occurrence for recent KU teams. Since the start of the 2012 season, Kansas has been on the wrong end of a golden goal just once, when Northwestern sent in the game-winner in the fifth minute of extra time on Aug. 19, 2012. During that same 66-match span, which started with the 2012 campaign, the Jayhawks let in only three game-winning goals by their opponents in the 75th minute later and none since the 2013 season.
Even other the final third of a match, the Jayhawk defense has proven almost impregnable to game-winning or game-tying goals. Over its last 66 games, KU opponents have scored only 11 game-winners or game-tying goals within the last 30 minutes of regulation and overtime.
OUTSTANDING IN OVERTIME
Kansas’ losses to Santa Clara and Oregon State over the weekend went against a recent trend of successful outcomes when the Jayhawks play in overtime matches. The loss in the 102nd minute to Santa Clara marked the end of an impressive streak for KU as the team had been unbeaten in seven-straight matches that had gone to overtime. Kansas’ last loss in an overtime match came at the hands of Northwestern on Aug.19, 2012.
In his career, Mark Francis’ KU teams are 12-18-22 in matches decided in overtime for a winning percentage of .442, but over the last four-plus seasons, the Jayhawks have turned up their game in extra time. Prior to last weekend, Kansas had been 6-2-1 in overtime games since the start of the 2011 season.
LAST TIME OUT
For the second-straight match, the Kansas Jayhawks found themselves in an overtime match and for the second-straight match, the home team came up on the wrong end of a golden goal as the Oregon State Beavers topped the Jayhawks, 1-0, Sunday night inside Rock Chalk Park.
Much like the Jayhawks’ match two nights earlier, a 1-0 double overtime loss to the Santa Clara Broncos, the home team dominated the majority of the match, controlling possession and breaking the opposing defense down to create several looks at goal. But that ball was again unable to find the back of the net. Kansas managed to put just three of its 11 shots on frame and rarely tested OSU’s all-Pac 12 keeper, Bella Geist.
The overtime period was short-lived, when Oregon State brought a swift end to the match on its first attack of the extra period. OSU freshman Allison Pantuso worked her way into the KU box for a short-range shot that was deflected away by the KU keeper, Lauren Breshears. However, the loose ball went right to the feet of Beaver defender Allison Pantuso, who kicked in the rebound and the game-winner just 78 seconds into the overtime.
The Jayhawks ended the match outshooting the Beavers by a tally of 11-9. Redshirt junior Hannah Kallmaier led the squad with a game-high three shots.
Breshears saw her first minutes between the posts for the Jayhawks, entering for the injured Maddie Dobyns three minutes into the second half. Breshears tallied one save but settled with the loss after allowing the game-winner in overtime.
JAYHAWKS MESSIN’ WITH TEXAS
In its first 20 years as a program, the state of Texas proved to be a tough place to play for a host of Jayhawk squads, that is until last season. Prior to 2014, Kansas amassed an overall record of 11-30-8 in matches played inside the Lone Star State, resulting in a win percentage of just .306. Last year though, the Jayhawks turned that trend on its head, going a perfect 3-0-0, the most wins ever by a KU squad in Texas. The Jayhawks have continued that trend after a successful last weekend when they took down another pair of schools in SMU and North Texas. KU’s victories over the Mustangs and Mean Green marked the longest “Lone Star State” winning streak in program history.
Kansas will have one more chance this season to pick up a win in Texas following its two matches last weekend. KU will take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock on Oct. 23. TTU has won two of the last three matches against the Jayhawks on its home turf.
Kansas returns seven players from last year’s team that started at least 15 games, which finished the season at 15-6-0. Included in the nine returning starters are three of the team’s top-four scorers from a year ago.
Seniors Liana Salazar (13 goals, four assists) and Ashley Williams (seven goals, three assists) lead the way, while sophomore Lois Heuchan (three goals) is also back. Kansas also returns an experienced midfield and back line with the return of juniors Tayler Estrada, Hanna Kallmaier, Jackie Georgoulis, Kaley Smith, Morgan Williams and sophomore Kayla Morrison.
JAYHAWKS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL
Kansas soccer was predicted to finish fourth in the 2015 league standings according to the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll which was released Aug. 12. The ranking marks the fourth time in the 16-year history of the preseason vote that KU has been picked to finish among the top-four teams in the conference.
Three-time defending league champion West Virginia was the coaches’ choice to win the conference, receiving eight seven-place votes and 63 points overall. The Mountaineers were followed by Texas Tech (55), Oklahoma State (46), Kansas (45), Oklahoma (38), Texas (28), TCU (22), Baylor (18) and Iowa State (9).
SALAZAR ALREADY MAKING HEADLINES
Senior midfielder Liana Salazar is already getting national recognition as a player who is expected to have a big year in 2015. She was one of 28 women in Division I NCAA soccer to be selected to the Watch List for the Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy, considered the most prestigious award in collegiate soccer and was also named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com “Best XI” First Team.
Salazar, who hails from Bogotá, Colombia, entered this season coming off a stellar junior campaign in 2014. An honoree on the NSCAA All-American Third Team, Salazar scored a team-high 13 goals and added four assists to combine for 30 total points on the year, the second-most in the Big 12 Conference. She was picked unanimously by the league’s coaches to the All-Big 12 First Team and was also added to the NSCAA’s All-Central Region First Team. Salazar added four game-winning goals on the year and helped the Jayhawks to their best record in a decade, finishing 15-6-0 and helping Kansas make the program’s sixth NCAA Tournament appearance.
Salazar is just five goals shy from moving to No. 2 on Kansas’ all-time goal scorers list with 21. She also is ranked among the top-10 Jayhawks all-time in points, game-winning goals, shots and shots on goal.
FIRST TO SCORE, WINS GALORE
Over its past 66 games, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season, Kansas has developed an interesting trend when it comes to which team tallies the first goal of the match. During that 66-game span, the Jayhawks have been on the losing end only once in the games which they have put in the match’s first goal. Kansas has amassed a record of 34-1-2 in those games, which already includes a 2-0-0 mark this year. The Jayhawks’ win against North Texas on Aug. 30 marked their 24th-consectutive victory in games which KU has scored first.
On the flip side, KU hasn’t been quite as fortunate when its opponents have gotten on the board first. Kansas has not won a game in that same 66-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are 0-27-1 in those games over the last two years, including an 0-6-0 mark in 2014 and an 0-3-0 mark this season.
RECORD BOOK WATCH
It’s never too early to glance at the Kansas soccer record book to see where current Jayhawks stand. Senior midfielder Liana Salazar finds herself among the Jayhawk elite when comparing her career numbers. She currently sits seventh on the all-time goal-scoring chart with 22, but needs just four more to tie Caroline Kastor and Rachel Gilfillan for No. 2 on the list. Caroline Smith is the school’s all-time leading goal scorer with 51. Salazar is also sixth on the all-time points chart as she has amassed 52 points in 64 appearances for the Jayhawks. That mark is 26 points behind Whitney Berry, who is second on the list and 76 points behind the record-holder, Caroline Smith, who tallied an impressive 126 points during her days in Lawrence.
Senior Ashley Williams is also ripe to move up some impressive charts during her last season in the Crimson and Blue. Williams is ninth on KU’s goal-scoring list with 17 career goals and is at No. 5 with seven game-winning goals. If she can match or exceed her total of four from last season, that will put her at No. 2 on KU’s list.
JUST ONE WILL DO IT
The 2015 Jayhawks have already carried on an impressive trend that has developed over the last three seasons when it comes to scoring. Since the start of the 2012 season the Kansas soccer team has scored at least one goal in 42 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 34-5-3. Kansas was won or drawn all but five matches in which it has scored, including a 15-2-0 record in those instances last season and a 2-0-0 record already this year.
The one goal trend has obviously proven fruitful for Kansas last season as, until KU’s Oct. 19 loss to West Virginia, the Jayhawks held their opponents to one goal or less in each of their first 16 matches of the year. That 16-match streak was the second-longest in program history and is only topped by the 2003 and 2004 squads, which combined to hold 29-straight opponents to one goal or fewer from Oct. 19, 2003- Nov. 3, 2004.
TURNING THINGS AROUND
The 2015 Jayhawks will look to bring the same mentality from the 2014 Jayhawk squad, which achieved one of the best turnarounds in program history. In 2013, Kansas won seven games and tied twice, while the 2014 team picked up eight more victories. This mark is the program’s best turnaround which formerly belonged to the 2003 squad that also won seven more games than the year prior.
Head coach Mark Francis is no stranger to monumental turnarounds. After a 2-17 season during first season at South Alabama, Francis led the Jaguars to an 18-3-1 mark during the 1997 season. The 16-win turnaround is still the biggest in NCAA Division I soccer history.
LET’S GET DEFENSIVE
While the Jayhawk offense was as potent as the program has seen in some time last year, the defense was just as impressive. With eight shutouts on the year, Kansas boasted a goals-against average of 0.80, the lowest in the Big 12 and the 19th-best mark in the nation. The Jayhawks allowed just 17 goals on the year and no more than one opponent goal in all but three matches. KU went 298 minutes without conceding a goal from Sept. 5-19, the 11th-longest streak in school history, and also wrapped up a 360-minute long streak, which ranks fifth in school history.
Kansas opponents’ lack of goal scoring may be attributed to the Jayhawks’ ability to keep the opposing team’s shot percentage low. Of the 241 shots KU allowed last season, opponents put just over 41 percent of those on target and only got 17 percent of those shots on frame past goalkeeper, Kaitlyn Stroud, and into the back of the net.
Kansas’ road swing in The Rockies will continue on Sunday, Sept. 13 when it goes up against the Colorado College Tigers. Kickoff from Colorado Springs is set for 12 p.m. (CT) and will be available via webstream on the Mountain West Network.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.