Freshman midfielder Parker Roberts
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|Shot on Goal %
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas soccer will kick off back-to-back home matches this weekend when it welcomes in the Baylor Bears for a Friday night contest at Rock Chalk Park. The Jayhawks (6-5-1), winners of four of their last five, will take on a Baylor team which has won seven-straight matches. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
After beginning the season with two wins in its first seven contests, Kansas has rebounded with four victories in its last five outings, including a decisive 4-0 win at Iowa State Sunday for its first Big 12 win of 2015. Since its loss to Wyoming on Sept. 11, Kansas has outscored its five opponents 12-4 and tallied a pair of shutouts. KU has outshot 11 of its first 12 opponents by an average margin of over five shots per match.
The KU offense is starting to pick up steam of late, scoring 12 goals and averaging 19.0 shots in its last five matches. On the season, Kansas is averaging almost 19 shots per match and is putting 41 percent of those shots on target. Kansas has seen seven different goal scorers, six of whom have tallied multiple goals. Senior Liana Salazar and freshman Grace Hagan both lead the squad with four goals on the year. Salazar and fellow senior Ashley Williams have combined for a third of the teams’ total shots this season and both lead the team with three assists on the year.
The Jayhawk defense allowed at least one goal in all but one of its first nine outings, but has allowed just two goals over its last 328 minutes of action. Jayhawk opponents have notched 11.4 shots per game with a total of 57 on target, or an average of 4.8 per match. Sophomore Maddie Dobyns has started all 12 matches in goal for the Jayhawks. She is boasting a save percentage of .774 and has a goals-against average of 1.00 with 41 saves in nearly 1,100 minutes of action.
ABOUT THE BEARS
The Jayhawks will welcome in one of the hottest teams in the country when they take on the Baylor Bears Friday. BU has won each of its last seven matches, its longest streak since 2012. In that span, the Bears have outscored its opponents 23-2. Prior to the seven-game stretch, Baylor was winless in its first five outings, going 0-4-1.
The Baylor offense has been impressive in 2015, already scoring 27 goals for an average of 2.25 per match. During its seven-match winning streak, the Bears have not been shutout and have averaged 3.3 goals per match. BU is averaging 16.8 shots per game and has gotten 45.5 percent of those tries on frame. Nine different players have recorded at least two goals on the season. Freshman forward Lauren Piercy leads her team with four goals and 29 shots this season. Freshman midfielder Sarah King is tops on her team and in the Big 12 with nine assists on the year. She is joined by six of her teammates who have posted multiple assists in 2015.
The Bear defense began the year on rocky ground, allowing nine goals in its first five outings but has since allowed just one goal over its last seven matches. Baylor is currently riding an opponent scoreless streak of over 274 minutes. BU has allowed an average of 6.1 opponent shots in its first 12 games, which includes three shots from Colorado College on Sept. 20. Junior goalkeeper Sara Martinson has started in goal in each of BU’s last six outings and appeared in 11 games total. She has tallied 13 saves for an average of 1.2 per appearance and has collected four shutouts. She also is boasting a goals-against average of 0.67 and a save percentage of .684.
Paul Jobson is in his first season as the head coach of the Baylor women’s soccer program. Jobson spent the seven previous seven seasons at Baylor as an assistant and co-head coach. Since arriving at Baylor in 2008, he has played a significant role in increasing the program’s win total in four of the last six years, culminating in the program’s first Big 12 Championship title and deepest run in the NCAA Tournament with a 2012 Sweet 16 appearance.
DR. JAYHAWK AND MR. HYDE
It appears as though the Jayhawks have fielded two different teams this season: the team that began the year with only two victories in its first seven matches, and the one that has rattled off four victories in its five more recent outings, which has helped KU turn around a season that may have been going downhill in a hurry. The difference in squads over those two periods of the 2015 season is apparent by much more than just looking at wins and losses.
In its first seven matches, the Kansas offense endured several stagnant stretches, netting only five goals, posting two scoreless streaks of more than 200 minutes and being shutout in four of those seven outings. KU was also posting 15.4 shots per match but only putting 38 percent of those on goal. Since then though, Kansas’ offense has been stellar. In the five games since, the Jayhawks have shot in 12 goals, which have been scored by seven different players. KU has also averaged 19 shots in those five games and has put over 45 percent of them on target.
It wasn’t just the Kansas offense that has seen marked improvement in the last three weekends, the KU defense has also taken a turn for the better. During the Jayhawks’ 2-4-1 start, they allowed nine goals, but in the five games since, allowed only four opponent goals to find the back of their net, which has included two shutouts. The Kansas defense has also substantially dropped the opposition’s shot-on-goal percentage, which measures how many of a team’s shot attempts are put on frame. In KU’s first seven outings, teams were managing to put just under half (49.3 percent) of their shots on goal, but over the last five matches, that number has dropped to a minuscule 32.8 percent.
The Jayhawks have become well acclimated to life away from the friendly confines of Rock Chalk Park this season with eight of their 12 matches so far in 2015 coming on the road. This might be a daunting task for most teams, but the Jayhawks can hang their hat on an impressive record in road games over the past year-and-a-half. KU has played 15 true road games since the start of the 2014 season, amassing a record of 10-4-1, which includes a 5-2-1 record this year, culminating in the Jayhawks’ win at Iowa State on Oct. 4.
When Kansas has played on the road in that span, the Jayhawks have held their opponents to a goals-against average of 0.77, have tallied six clean sheets and have outshot teams by an average of 14.3-11.5 shots per game. Ten different Jayhawks have scored at least one goal in that span, with Liana Salazar leading the way with six goals and four assists in road matches. Jayhawk goalkeepers have also been stout away from home since the start of last season, allowing just 12 goals, tallying 66 saves and amassing a save percentage of .846.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
The Kansas offense has shown to be a tough assignment for opposing defenses this year after a host of Jayhawks have made their presence known on the stat sheet. Six different Jayhawks have netted at least two goals, while a total of 10 have had their hand in at least one of the team’s 17 goals thus far in 2015, either scoring or assisting. Seven additional players have managed to tally at least one shot. While seniors Liana Salazar and Ashley Williams have notched over a third of the team’s total shots (67), seven of their teammates can boast adding 10 or more attempts to the team’s total of 203.
This is a trend that is carried over from last year’s squad, as nine different players managed to post double-figure shots and 14 Jayhawks tallied at least one goal or assist in 2014.
With the release of the season’s several Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) report by the NCAA this week, several good signs stick out for the Jayhawks. Kansas checked in at No. 67 on the list that takes numerous factors into account including strength of schedule, record against top-50 teams and home versus road record. The ranking marked the 12th-straight RPI release that Kansas has found itself ranked among the top-75 in the NCAA, dating back to last season.
This week’s report shows that the Big 12 is among the nation’s toughest conferences after the conclusion of non-conference play. The league boasts six of its nine teams inside the top-80. The conference’s high ranking also means the Jayhawks will get plenty of chances to up their national standing as four of their next six contests will be against teams currently ranked inside the top-80 of the RPI.
KU has seen numerous instances of late-game heroics already this year. Of the 17 goals Kansas has scored this season, eight of them have come within the final 25 minutes of regulation or overtime. Four KU game-winning goals have also come within the final 25 minutes of action, including Ashley Williams’ golden goal in the 92nd minute versus Arkansas (9/17).
Speaking of game-winners, a total of four different Jayhawks have posted at least one game-winning goal this season.
FEEDING ON NON-CON
With its win over South Dakota State on Sept. 25 to close out the non-conference portion of the schedule, the Jayhawks made it eight-straight seasons with a .500 winning percentage or better against regular-season non-conference foes. Over the last four seasons, Kansas has posted an impressive 27-12-4 mark in its 43 regular-season non-conference matches (64.7%), which includes a 15-5-1 mark in the last two years. Since the start of the 2012 season, KU has outscored non-con opponents by a tally of 74-37.
Mark Francis has led KU to a winning record in non-con in 16 of his 17 seasons in Lawrence and is now 106-44-8 in regular-season non-conference games.
THIS DAY IN KU SOCCER HISTORY:
OCTOBER 9, 2005 – The Kansas Jayhawks dispatched of the 21st-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in convincing fashion by a score of 3-0 in Lawrence. KU scored twice within the first 22 minutes and added a third goal six minutes into the second half to pick up its seventh win of the season and third victory in Big 12 play.
Seniors Caroline Smith and Jessica Smith netted their sixth and fourth goals of the year, respectively, while sophomore Holly Gault tallied a pair of assists. The Kansas defense also tallied its seventh shutout of the year in earning its fourth-straight victory over the Sooners.
LAST TIME OUT
Four goals by four different Jayhawks helped propel Kansas to a 4-0 win over Iowa State Sunday afternoon inside the Cyclone Sports Complex. Senior Liana Salazar netted the 25th goal of her career and added a pair of assists, junior Jackie Georgoulis headed home her first goal as a Jayhawk and the freshman duo of Grace Hagan and Parker Roberts tallied their fourth and second goals, respectively.
Just before the half-hour mark, Kansas broke open the scoring when junior Hanna Kallmaier got the attack started by laying off a pass to Salazar at the top of 18-yard area. Salazar then used one touch to redirect a pass to Roberts, who was streaking through the middle of the box. Roberts slid but got a boot on it and sent it in for her second goal of the season. Two minutes later, Salazar sent in a high, curling corner kick toward the near post, where Georgoulis had taken up residence. The junior out of Arlington Heights, Illinois rose above the crowd and headed the ball to the back of the Cyclone net. The goal was the first of Georgoulis’ career and gave her team a commanding 2-0 lead, still with 14 minutes to play in the first half.
Twelve minutes into the second half, the Jayhawks put in their third goal of the match when Ashley Williams played a low pass across the face of goal to the far post. Hagan was there, unmarked, and slotted home her fourth goal of the season, and her second in as many games.
After two earlier assists, Salazar joined the scoring action in the 68th minute. Roberts was fouled just outside the Iowa State 18-yard box, and Salazar was the one chosen to take the Jayhawk free kick. The senior used a strong right-footed strike to curl the ball away from the ISU keeper but kept it inside the left post. The goal was Salazar’s fourth of the year and the 25th of her KU career.
OUTSTANDING IN OVERTIME
Kansas’ wins over Colorado College and Arkansas added to a recent trend of successful outcomes when the Jayhawks play in overtime matches. KU’s Sept. 4 loss to Santa Clara in the 102nd minute marked the end of an impressive streak for KU as the team had been unbeaten in seven-straight matches that had gone to overtime. Before that, Kansas’ previous loss in an overtime match came at the hands of Northwestern on Aug.19, 2012.
In his career, Mark Francis’ KU teams are 14-18-22 in matches decided in overtime for a winning percentage of .457, but over the last four-plus seasons, the Jayhawks have turned up their game in extra time. Including its wins over Colorado College and Arkansas, Kansas had been 8-4-1 in overtime games since the start of the 2011 season.
FIRST TO SCORE, WINS GALORE
Over its past 72 games, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season, Kansas has developed an interesting trend when it comes to which team tallies the first goal of the match. During that 72-game span, the Jayhawks have been on the losing end only once in the games which they have put in the match’s first goal. Kansas has amassed a record of 36-1-2 in those games, which already includes a 4-0-0 mark this year. The Jayhawks’ win against Iowa State on Oct. 4 marked their 26th-consecutive victory in games which KU has scored first.
On the flip side, KU hasn’t been quite as fortunate when its opponents have gotten on the board first. Kansas’ two wins over Colorado College and Arkansas on Sept. 13 and Sept. 17, respectively, were the first and only wins in that same 72-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are 2-29-1 in those games over the last three years, including an 0-6-0 mark in 2014 and a 2-5-0 mark this season.
RECORD BOOK WATCH
The Kansas soccer record book has already seen some movement this season concerning where some current Jayhawks stand. Senior midfielder Liana Salazar finds herself among the Jayhawk elite when comparing her career numbers. She currently sits fourth on the all-time goal-scoring chart with 25, but needs just one more to tie Caroline Kastor and Rachel Gilfillan for No. 2 on the list. Caroline Smith is the school’s all-time leading goal scorer with 51. Salazar is also sixth on the all-time points chart as she has amassed 61 points in 73 appearances for the Jayhawks. That mark is 17 points behind Whitney Berry, who is second on the list and 69 points behind the record-holder, Caroline Smith, who tallied an impressive 126 points during her days in Lawrence.
Senior Ashley Williams has also moved up charts midway through her last season in the Crimson and Blue. Williams is now eighth on KU’s goal-scoring list with 19 career goals and is at No. 4 with nine game-winning goals. If she can match or exceed her total of four from last season, that will put her at No. 2 on KU’s list.
JUST ONE WILL DO IT
The 2015 Jayhawks have already carried on an impressive trend that has developed over the last three seasons when it comes to scoring. Since the start of the 2012 season the Kansas soccer team has scored at least one goal in 48 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 38-7-3. Kansas was won or drawn all but seven matches in which it has scored, including a 21-4-0 record in those instances this season and last.
The Jayhawks will have less than two days to recover from their match against Baylor when they return to the pitch at Rock Chalk Park to take on Oklahoma. The match, set for Sunday, Oct. 11, will kick off at 1 p.m., and will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.
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