Salazar, Stroud Lift Kansas to 1-0 Shutout Over Baylor
WACO, Texas – Liana Salazar headed home her eighth of the year less than 20 minutes into the match to put the Jayhawks up 1-0, a lead they would not relinquish as Kansas shutout the Baylor Bears Friday night inside the Betty Lou Mays Soccer Complex. Senior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud collected seven saves on the night to help KU notch its sixth shutout of the year and fifth clean sheet in its last six contests.
The win elevated Kansas to 10-1-0 on the year and gave the squad its first conference win of 2014, moving the Jayhawks to 1-0-0 in the Big 12. Baylor dropped to 6-4-1 on the season and to 0-1-0 in league play.
“Baylor is very difficult to play against,” said head coach Mark Francis. “But I thought we played very well defensively tonight. The mentality was really good in terms of matching their intensity. Liana scored an unbelievable goal off a great assist from Ashley Williams. That was the goal of the season right there.”
The two squads opened up the game at a relatively even pace, but neither managed to turn up any legitimate scoring chances. That is until the 19th minute.
Williams sent a right-footed cross into the BU box that was perfectly placed at the head of her teammate, Salazar. The junior out of Bogota, Colombia connected on the header at the near post and redirected the ball, which ended up in the back of the net.
Salazar’s goal at the 18:31 mark was her eighth of the season, which leads the Big 12. The assist was Williams’ second of the year and was the fourth time in the last five matches the junior has posted a goal or an assist.
The Jayhawks’ first-half goal didn’t deter the Bears though, as the home team ended the period outshooting KU 5-3 and forcing Jayhawk goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud into making five key saves.
Baylor didn’t let up at all in the second frame and gave the KU backline all it could handle. The Jayhawks withstood every BU attack though, which included seven second-half corner kicks and five Baylor shots, two of which were on frame.
The Jayhawks held on to the shutout after some late Baylor attempts to find the equalizer, which included a Bear corner kick inside the final 10 seconds. A KU defender sent the ball the other way as the final whistle sounded to give the Jayhawks their 10th win of the year and the all-important conference road victory.
Kansas picked up its sixth shutout of the year and fifth in its last six contests. KU has allowed just one goal in its last 560 minutes of play. Stroud earned her ninth win of the year and the 11th clean sheet of her career. Stroud’s goals-against average now sits at 0.39, the lowest mark in the Big 12.
Baylor held Kansas to a season-low five shots in the 90 minutes of action as opposed to the Bears 10 shots. Senior Ali Kimura led the squad with three shots on the night, while Salazar tallied the other two.
Kansas will now head north to Fort Worth, Texas to take on the TCU Horned Frogs on Sunday, Sept. 28. KU and TCU will kick off at 1 p.m., from Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium in the match that will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest Plus.
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