Sophomore defender Kayla Morrison
|Game 9: Kansas at Arkansas
||6:30 p.m. (CT)
||Razorback Stadium (2,500)
||Arkansas leads, 3-2-1
Jayhawk Radio Network
|Stats at a Glance
|Shot on Goal %
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks will close out their tough road stretch of seven away games their first nine matches when they go up against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday, Sept. 17. Kickoff from Fayetteville is set for 6:30 p.m. (CT) and will be available on the SEC Network+.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWS
Kansas recently snapped a three-game losing streak with a thrilling 2-1 double overtime victory over the Colorado College Tigers Sunday. Last weekend, Kansas ended a scoring drought of over 270 minutes when Liana Salazar netted her goal in the 66th minute versus Wyoming, and KU has since tallying three goals in its last 135 minutes of action. KU has outshot seven of its first eight opponents by an average margin of over four shots per match.
The KU offense has been up and down thus far in the 2015 campaign, seeing multi-goal outings in three matches, but also being shutout in four of its outings. Kansas is averaging over 15 shots per match and is putting nearly 40 percent of those shots on target. Kansas has seen four different goal scorers, which includes Salazar, who leads the squad with three goals and 25 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 at least one goal in each of its last six outings, with three of those being netted within the final 10 minutes of regulation or overtime. Jayhawk opponents have notched only 10.9 shots per game with a total of 36 on target or an average of 5.0 per match. Sophomore Maddie Dobyns has started all eight matches in goal for the Jayhawks. She is boasting a save percentage of .750 and has a goals-against average of 1.12 with 27 saves in her first eight outings of 2015. On Aug. 23, Dobyns tallied her first career shutout in the Jayhawks’ 0-0 draw at Minnesota.
ABOUT THE RAZORBACKS
Like the Jayhawks, Arkansas ended a three-game losing skid on Sunday, topping UMKC, 1-0, in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks also opened conference play last weekend, falling to the Tennessee Volunteers, 1-0, also in Fayetteville.
The Arkansas offense has been potent in its first seven matches of the season. The Razorbacks are averaging just over 18 shots per game and have gotten almost over 37 percent of those tries on frame. Eleven different players have recorded either a goal or an assist. Senior forward Ashleigh Ellenwood has already tallied a team-leading 26 shots and five goals, two of which have been game-winners. Junior defender Erika Miller has tallied three assists already this season, which ranks fifth in the SEC.
Prior to Sunday, the Razorback defense had been roughed up lately, allowing seven goals in its previous three games. UA has tallied a pair of shutouts and has allowed an average of 7.1 opponent shots in its first seven games, which included nine attempts from UMKC on Sept. 13. Junior Cameron Carter has started in goal for the Razorbacks in the last three matches after redshirt freshman Jordan Harris started Arkansas’ first four matches. Carter has notched one shutout so far in her third year in Fayetteville. She has amassed 14 saves for an average of 2.0 per appearance. She also is boasting a goals-against average of 1.11 and a save percentage of .737.
Colby Hale is in his fourth year as the head coach of the Arkansas women’s soccer program. Hale has led the Razorbacks to a 37-28-8 record in his three-plus seasons, to two NCAA Tournament appearances (2013, 2014) and three SEC Championship appearances (2012, 2013, 2014). Hale’s UA squads have seen two named to the SEC All-Conference Second Team, one NSCAA All-Region selection and a Capital One Academic All-American.
This week the Jayhawks will once again hit the road for a match 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 task 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 13 true road games since the start of the 2014 season, amassing a record of 8-3-1, which includes a 3-2-1 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 0.82, have tallied five clean sheets and have outshot teams by an average of 13.6-11.4 shots per game. Nine different Jayhawks have scored at least one goal in that span, with Liana Salazar netting five goals and two assists in road matches. Jayhawk goalkeepers have also been stout away from home since the start of last season, allowing just 11 goals, tallying 58 saves and amassing a save percentage of .863.
LOGGING LENGTHY MINUTES
The Jayhawks have already been forced to endure some long matches this season, going to extra time in four of their eight outings. That has moved this Kansas squad near the top of the nation when it comes to overall minutes played. The average length of a KU match this season is nearly 96 minutes long, which is the 12th-highest minutes-per-game average among DI programs this season. Only nine other teams which have played eight matches or fewer can boast more total minutes than what the Jayhawks have already logged in the 2015 season.
Kansas currently has five players who are averaging 88 minutes per match or greater. The program record for average length its matches in a single season belongs to the 2007 team, whose average match lasted 94.3 minutes.
LIMITING LATE GOALS
Kansas was forced to endure two golden-goal losses two weeks ago against Santa Clara and Oregon State, 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 has 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 than in 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 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’ previous loss in an overtime match came at the hands of Northwestern on Aug.19, 2012.
In his career, Mark Francis’ KU teams are 13-18-22 in matches decided in overtime for a winning percentage of .453, but over the last four-plus seasons, the Jayhawks have turned up their game in extra time. Including its win over Colorado College last weekend, Kansas had been 7-4-1 in overtime games since the start of the 2011 season.
LAST TIME OUT
Freshman Grace Hagan netted the golden goal and added an assist as the Jayhawks came from behind to beat the Colorado College Tigers, 2-1, in double overtime Sunday afternoon at Stewart Field. Senior Liana Salazar sparked the KU comeback with her third goal of the season in the 55th minute before Hagan sent in the game-winner in the 102nd minute.
The Jayhawk offense came out in the second half with a new sense of motivation, dominating the home team in nearly every facet of the game. The KU offense finally broke through when Salazar netted her 24th career goal just 10 minutes into the second frame. Hagan chased down a long ball forward and beat her defender to the end line. The freshman then found her senior teammate, Salazar, who was stationed at the top of the Colorado College penalty box. Salazar calmly collected the pass, made a man miss and sent in a right-footed strike that went inside the right post. Salazar’s third goal of the year not only knotted up the score at 1-1, but moved her to No. 4 by herself on the Jayhawks’ all-time goal-scoring chart with 24 career goals, and two goals behind the No. 2 spot.
After a relatively uneventful first overtime period, KU didn’t waste much time in bringing a swift end to the match. Senior Ashley Williams chased down a long ball forward and rocketed in a right-footed cross across the face of the Tiger goal. The ball flew all the way to the far post where Hagan elevated above the rest of the defense and headed the ball into the back of the net. The golden goal brought an immediate end to the match and marked KU’s first come-from-behind victory since the Jayhawks topped South Dakota State, 2-1, on Sept. 4, 2011, which ended a 29-consecutive match winless streak in games when KU has conceded the first goal.
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 those two matches. 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 Big 12 Preseason 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 two goals shy from moving to No. 2 on Kansas’ all-time goal scorers list with 24. 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 68 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 68-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-consecutive 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’ Sept. 13 win over Colorado College was its first and only win in that same 68-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are 1-28-1 in those games over the last three years, including an 0-6-0 mark in 2014 and a 1-4-0 mark this season.
RECORD BOOK WATCH
The Kansas soccer record book has already seen some movement concerning where some current Jayhawks stand. Senior midfielder Liana Salazar finds herself among the Jayhawk elite when comparing her career numbers. She currently sits fourth on the all-time goal-scoring chart with 24, but needs just two 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 56 points in 70 appearances for the Jayhawks. That mark is 22 points behind Whitney Berry, who is second on the list and 74 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 44 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 35-6-3. Kansas was won or drawn all but six matches in which it has scored, including a 15-2-0 record in those instances last season.
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.
Kansas will now return to the friendly confines of Rock Chalk Park and close out the non-conference portion of its 2015 season when it welcomes in the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Sept. 25. Kickoff from Lawrence is set for 7 p.m., with the match scheduled to be broadcast on YouTube.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.