Kansas Drops First of the Year, Falls to Marquette 1-0

Box Score (PDF)

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Marquette junior Jacie Jermier shot in a free kick from 19 yards out just seven minutes into the match, netting the eventual game-winner and helping the Golden Eagles hand the No. 16 Kansas Jayhawks their first loss of the season. The loss snapped KU’s program record eight-game winning streak.
The Jayhawks, who were enjoying their best start in program history, fell to 8-1-0 on the year, while Marquette moved to 3-5-1.
“Some of our decision making in the attacking third wasn’t consistent tonight,” said head coach Mark Francis following the match. “In some ways though, I think it’s good for us that we lost this game. I think it will help us down the road and get us more focused as we move on to our next game. We’ll learn from this and get ready for St. Mary’s on Sunday.”
The game began at a frenzied pace with Kansas nearly putting two in the back of the net early on. Senior Jamie Fletcher found an open Liana Salazar in the middle of the Marquette 18-yard box less than a minute into the match. Salazar tried to flick the pass into the back of the net but an MU defender was there for the deflection.
Less than 30 seconds later Fletcher again put the Golden Eagle defense on its heels when she played a ball forward to senior Ali Kimura, who had gotten in behind the MU back line. Kimura, who had only the MU goalkeeper, Amanda Engel, standing between her and her fourth goal of the season, tried to slot a low shot under the keeper’s reach, however Engel was there for her first stop of the night.
Even with the early momentum on the Jayhawks’ side, Marquette countered just five minutes later. A Golden Eagle striker found space between the Jayhawk defenders and was promptly fouled as she was about to face a sure shot at goal. The referee awarded Marquette the free kick from just outside the KU penalty box, only five yards to the right of center.
Jermier lined up the free kick moments later and blasted it into the upper 90 to put her team up and hand Kansas its first deficit of the season.
The teams played even over the remaining 38 minutes of the first half, with Marquette earning the advantage in shots, 7-6.
Kansas saw a handful of promising opportunities in the second frame. Like the first half, KU got out to a fast start. Salazar again found space inside the MU penalty box and sent in a right-footed strike that was stopped by the keeper for her second save of the night.
The Jayhawks were on the attacking end of the ball for the majority of the half but were unable to formulate many dangerous attacks. Kimura notched KU’s only other shot on frame with her strike in the 72nd minute, one of KU’s six second half shots.
The Golden Eagles didn’t allow any legitimate Jayhawk chances in the waning minutes of the match, securing their third win of the year and saddling Kansas with its first shutout of the season.
Kimura and Salazar led the Jayhawk attack with three shots apiece, while six other KU players tallied a shot.
KU goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud was handed her first loss of the year in goal for KU but has still yet to allow more than one goal in a game this year.
The Jayhawks’ streak of consecutive minutes without falling behind came to an end with Jermier’s goal in the seventh minute. KU played 739-straight minutes to start the season without trailing in a match, the longest stretch of its kind in program history.
The Jayhawks will now head back to Lawrence to try and return to the wins column as they ready for a Sunday afternoon matchup against the St. Mary’s Gaels. KU and SMC will hit the Jayhawk Soccer Complex pitch for kickoff at 1 p.m.
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