Strong Second Half Gives Jayhawks Convincing 3-0 Win Over South Dakota State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After going to the halftime locker room knotted up at 0-0, the Kansas offense came alive in the second 45-minute period to down the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, 3-0, Friday night inside Rock Chalk Park. Senior Ashley Williams netted her second goal in as many games, while junior Ashley Pankey completing the first multi-goal outing of her career, scoring twice in the final 12 minutes.
The win marked the Jayhawks’ third-straight victory and moved KU to 5-4-1 after finishing out the non-conference portion of the season. The loss moved South Dakota State to 5-4-1 in their 2015 campaign.
“We really wanted to finish this portion of the year off (non-conference) in the right way and I think we did that tonight,” said head coach Mark Francis. “We really had a great attack in the second half after we made some adjustments at halftime and that was really nice to see. I was also really pleased that we were able to get the shutout.”
The Jayhawks controlled much of the opening half of play, outshooting the Jackrabbits by a tally of 12-8. One near KU score came in the 22nd minute, when Williams connected on a shot from 18 yards out, but her right-footed strike was a hair too wide and slammed off the left post.
Seven minutes later defender Aurélie Gagnet sent in a high floating shot from nearly 30 yards away that gave the Jackrabbit keeper, Nicole Inskeep, some trouble. Gagnet’s shot nearly snuck in under the cross bar but Inskeep managed to get just enough of her fingertips on it to redirect it over the top of goal.
Junior Ashley Pankey sent in the first of her two goals Friday night against South Dakota State.With some near misses in the first half, KU regrouped and did not waste time in the second half to break the scoring open. After earning a corner just over two minutes into the half, Liana Salazar sent in a low service into the center of the Jackrabbit box. An SDSU defender had difficulty clearing the pass, putting the ball right at the feet of Williams, who was a mere 15 yards from goal. Williams used some fancy dribbling to evade a defender and shot in her second goal of the year into the side-netting.
Williams’ goal was her second in as many games and moved the senior to No. 8 on KU’s all-time goal scorer charts as she now has 19 for her career.
The Jackrabbits never posed any major threats on the Kansas defense over the rest of the half, only amassing six shots and one shot on goal. KU, on the other hand, was convinced at extending its lead over the remaining 30 minutes of regulation.
The Jayhawks did just that with 12 minutes remaining, when Pankey sent home the first goal of her career. Freshman Grace Hagan hit a shot that Inskeep was unable to corral. The rebound went high in the air before Pankey met it at the goal line for the easy flick in to put her team up a pair of goals.
With her first-career goal out of the way, Pankey seemed to pick up some confidence as the Middletown, New Jersey product entered the scoresheet for the second time five minutes later. Junior Jackie Georgoulis flicked on a KU goal kick far down field and passed two SDSU defenders, where Pankey found it in stride. She took two long dribbles and unleashed a 25-yard strike that Inskeep had little hope of stopping. Pankey’s shot found the back of the net to cement her first-career brace and the first multi-goal match of the year by a Jayhawk.
The final horn sounded six minutes later with KU picking up its third-straight victory to close out its non-conference season. Kansas outshot their opponent for the ninth time in ten games, tallying a season-high 27 shots, to South Dakota State’s 14. Williams’ posted a career-high eight shots to lead all players and record the most shots by a Jayhawk since 2005.
Kansas goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns and the KU defense earned their second shutout of the year, holding the Jackrabbits to only three shots on goal.
The Jayhawks will kick off Big 12 play when they welcome the Texas Longhorns to Rock Chalk Park on Friday, Oct. 2. KU and UT will hit the pitch for a 7 p.m., kickoff, which will be streamed live via the Kansas Athletics YouTube page.
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