Early Goals Help Jayhawks Tally Shutout Over TCU
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Kansas Jayhawks struck twice within the first 14 minutes of action and held off the TCU Horned Frogs the rest of the way to pick up a 2-0 shutout victory Sunday afternoon inside Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium. Senior Jamie Fletcher shot in her second of the year in the eighth minute before freshman Kayla Morrison netted her first-career goal off a corner kick in the 13th minute.
The win moved Kansas to 11-1-0 on the year and elevates the squad to 2-0-0 after the first weekend of Big 12 play. TCU fell to 7-4-1 with the loss and 0-1-1 in the league.
“I thought the kids executed the game plan really well today but you have to give TCU credit, they didn’t quit the whole game,” said head coach Mark Francis. “Anytime you win on the road you have to be happy and today we’re fortunate to get our second win this weekend and head home next week with some momentum.”
For the second-straight match, the Jayhawks opened the scoring within the opening 20 minutes. Less than six minutes into the match, junior Liana Salazar used some creative dribbling to get around a defender and play in an unguarded cross from the just outside the right side of the penalty area. Salazar’s pass was played perfectly to the feet of her senior teammate, Fletcher, who hit it to the back of the net with one touch for her second goal of the year.
Fletcher’s 15th-career goal put Kansas up 1-0, but the Jayhawks’ hot start didn’t end there.
KU struck again less than six minutes later on a tailor-made corner kick from Jackie Georgoulis. Georgoulis served the ball to the center of the TCU six-yard box, where Morrison met the ball unmarked. The freshman jumped and connected before sending a bouncing header past the Horned Frog goalkeeper, Vittoria Arnold. Morrison’s first-career goal put TCU in a two-goal deficit, a lead KU would not relinquish.
The home team refused to go down without a fight though. TCU outshot KU 8-5 over the opening 45 minutes including a few close calls that forced the Big 12’s save-percentage leader, KU’s senior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud, into service. Stroud tallied four saves in the opening half, including a pair of stops after some dangerous TCU corner kicks midway through the half.
KU withstood numerous Horned Frog attacks in second frame, but also put together several chances of its own. In the 69th minute, Fletcher almost put in her second of the afternoon when she got a shot off from just over 10 yards out. Her shot sailed just a foot over the crossbar but Kansas remained in control the rest of the way.
KU’s defense kept TCU’s strikers out of commission during the late minutes of the match to secure the squad’s seventh shutout of the season and sixth clean sheet in its last seven outings.
TCU outshot KU 15-11 and put seven of those shots on target, however Stroud was there to save each. The shutout was the 12th of the senior’s career and moved her into a tie for third on the Jayhawks’ all-time shutouts chart.
Junior Ashley Williams led the group with three shots on the day, while six other Jayhawks managed to tally at least one shot.
Kansas will return to Lawrence to host its much-anticipated Big 12 home opener at Rock Chalk Park on Friday, Oct. 3. The Jayhawks will welcome the Oklahoma State Cowgirls to their new, state-of-the-art facility for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Two days later, Kansas will return to the pitch at Rock Chalk Park to take on their final non-conference opponent of the regular season, the Missouri State Bears. KU and MSU will kick off at 1 p.m. in the match to be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.
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