Comeback Falls Short as No. 20 Santa Clara Tops Kansas, 3-2

Box Score (PDF)

No. 20 Santa Clara 3, Kansas 2
Buck Shaw Stadium // Santa Clara, Calif.

Senior Caroline Kastor tallied her fourth goal of the
season Friday night at Santa Clara

1st 2nd Final
Kansas 1 1 2
Santa Clara 2 1 3
SCU 5′ Sofia Huerta (Vass)
KU 6′ Caroline Kastor (Dickerson)
SCU 30′ Julie Johnston (Huerta)
SCU 54′ Sofia Huerta (PK)
KU 74′ Liana Salazar (unassisted)
Goalkeepers Min GA Sv
KU Kaitlyn Stroud 90:00 3 6
SCU Andi Tostanoski 78:12 2 4
SCU Molly Mettler 11:48 0 0
Stats at a Glance KU SCU
Shots 10 16
Shots on Goal 6 9
Saves 6 4
Offsides 3 0
Corner Kicks 6 7
Fouls 15 7
Yellow Cards 0 2
Red Cards 0 0

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Sophomore Liana Salazar‘s free kick goal from 19 yards out pulled Kansas to within a goal of No. 20 Santa Clara with just 16 minutes remaining but that was as close as the Jayhawks would come, falling to the Broncos 3-2 Friday night inside Buck Shaw Stadium.

The Jayhawks fell to 5-5-1 after their final match of non-conference play. Santa Clara moved to 5-3-1 in their 2-13 season.
“I was really pleased with the way we played and competed tonight,” said head coach Mark Francis. “Santa Clara is a very good offensive team and I thought we played them pretty evenly for most of the game. I was proud how the kids battled tonight especially after we gave up that goal so quickly. The way we played today shows that we can compete with anyone in our conference and that’s really encouraging moving forward.”
The game started at a frantic pace with both teams putting goals in within the first 10 minutes. Santa Clara opened the scoring in the fifth minute when junior forward Sofia Huerta struck in her third of the year from just outside of KU’s 18-yard box.
The early deficit did not faze the Jayhawks though, as only a minute later KU was able to knot up the score. With a numbers advantage in the Jayhawk’s attacking third, sophomore Courtney Dickerson found space near the right side of the Bronco box. Dickerson played a spot-on pass to senior Caroline Kastor, who only needed one touch to beat the SCU keeper and tap in her fourth of the year.
Kastor’s goal was the 24th of her collegiate career and moved her up to No. 3 alone on KU’s all-time goal-scoring chart. The senior just needs three more scores this season to pass Rachel Gilfillan for second on the career list.
Just over 25 minutes later the Broncos struck again, this time off a corner kick. Huerta sent the ball into the KU box and found her All-American teammate, Julie Johnston, who headed it in past KU goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud. The goal put Santa Clara up 2-1, a lead it would hold into halftime.
Kansas began the second half aggressively; however it worked to the Broncos’ advantage just eight minutes into the half. As junior Haley Yearout was battling a SCU forward inside the KU box she was whistled for a foul and, in turn, earned the home team a penalty kick. Huerta kicked home her second of the night on the free shot and put Kansas in an almost insurmountable 3-1 hole. 
With the outcome looking bleak, Salazar gave her team a glimmer of hope in the 74th minute after a foul just outside the SCU box. The sophomore midfielder lined up the shot and knocked it home over the Bronco wall and through the upper right corner to pull her team within a goal.
The score was the second in as many games for the Bagotá, Columbia native and moved her to second on the team with three goals in 2013.
The Jayhawks saw several chances for the equalizer over the final 15 minutes, however each time KU threatened the Santa Clara defense was there to snuff out the opportunity. The full time whistle sounded with Kansas falling just short of the upset and dropping its fifth game of the season.
Santa Clara outshot the Jayhawks by a 16-10 tally, however the Bronco edge was just 6-5 in the second half. Salazar led Kansas with four shots on the night, three of which were on frame. The reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, Stroud, made six saves in goal for the Jayhawks which marked the second-straight game she has notched six saves or more.
Kansas soccer will kickoff conference play on Friday, Oct. 4 when it travels to Ames, Iowa to take on the Iowa State Cyclones. KU and ISU are slated to kickoff at 7 p.m. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.