Estrada, Williams Help Get Kansas Past Missouri State, 2-1
LAWRENCE, Kan. – It took just over 60 minutes but the Kansas Jayhawks finally shook away from a pesky Missouri State squad with the help of Tayler Estrada’s first career-goal Sunday afternoon at Rock Chalk Park. Junior Ashley Williams netted her second game-winner of the weekend less than five minutes later and Kansas eventually closed out the 2-1 victory, its fifth-straight.
The win elevated the Jayhawks to 13-1-0 on the year and gave Kansas its ninth home win in 2014, which ties a program record. Missouri State fell to 5-7-1 this season.
“We definitely executed better in the second half, but I felt like there were a lot of areas where we could have done better today,” said head coach Mark Francis. “I’m definitely happy to get the win but we have five tough conference games left and we’ll need to play better than we did today if we want to be in any of those games.”
Sophomore Tayler Estrada was
congratulated after netting her
first career goal Sunday against
Missouri State.The Jayhawks and Bears played a relatively uneventful first half, with only eight shots between the two squads and almost no decent scoring chances for either side. KU’s best look in the first 45 minutes came from the foot of Estrada. In the 27th minute, the sophomore unleased a shot from around 20 yards out that proved to be too much for the MSU goalkeeper, Laura Ketzer, to handle. Estrada’s shot slipped out of the keeper’s hands, slammed off the crossbar and straight back down into the grasp of Ketzer for a tantalizingly close goal.
Kansas turned up the pressure to start the second half, tallying four shots within the opening 14 minutes of play. Even with the increase in chances, KU was still unable to get one past the Bear’s keeper. The seal finally came off in the 61st minute when junior Liana Salazar found Estrada open at the top left corner of the MSU box. The unmarked Jayhawk took one touch and fired a low bullet that snuck just inside the right post for KU’s first goal of the match.
Estrada’s strike marked the first goal of her career and made her the 11th different Jayhawk to score so far this season.
Even with the one-goal edge, Kansas remained on the offensive, putting in its second of the day less than five minutes later.
Sophomore Jackie Georgoulis sent in a corner from the left side that was headed forward by sophomore defender Kaley Smith, who was standing near the PK spot. Smith’s pass was then received by Williams, who, with the goal to her back, made an acrobatic strike over her right shoulder that sent in her sixth goal of the season.
Williams’ score wound up being her second game-winner of the weekend and her third of the season.
The Bears picked up a goal of their own in the 70th minute off the foot of junior Lauren Fussell. A poor KU clearance after a MSU corner kick gave Fussell an open look at the Jayhawks’ net. A look that she took advantage of, blasting home her second of the year.
KU withstood a handful of late Missouri State tries for an equalizer over the final 20 minutes to pick up its ninth home victory of the year and third at Rock Chalk Park.
Senior Jamie Fletcher led all players with five shots on the day and helped Kansas outshoot the Bears 16-5 in the match, including an 11-3 tally in the second frame.
Senior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud failed to make a save for the first time this season but still picked up the victory, her 12th of the season and 30th of her career.
The Jayhawks will hit the road for another tough Big 12 test when they journey to Austin, Texas to take on the Texas Longhorns on Friday, Oct. 10. Kickoff from Mike A. Myers Stadium is slated for 7 p.m., for the match that will be televised on the Longhorn Network.