Déjà Vu: Late Heroics Lift Kansas Past Oklahoma, 1-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second time in as many games, the Kansas soccer team netted a game-winning goal in the waning minutes of the match as the Jayhawks topped the Oklahoma Sooners, 1-0, Sunday afternoon inside Rock Chalk Park. Senior Ashley Williams sent in her third goal of the season with 80 seconds remaining in regulation to give Kansas its sixth win in its last seven games.
The victory moved the Jayhawks to 8-5-1 on the year, including a 3-1-0 record in Big 12 play. Oklahoma lost its first match in seven outings, falling to 8-5-2 in 2015 with a 1-1-2 record in conference.
“The mentality of this group is so great,” said head coach Mark Francis. “We beat a very good Oklahoma team today. Our kids played great defensively and we created some good chances on the other end. I’m also really happy for Ashley (Williams). She put in a great finish and it was just a tremendous way to get the win.”
In a match that was nearly identical to KU’s double overtime defeat of Baylor two nights prior, Kansas again found itself locked in a scoreless draw with seconds left in regulation. However, unlike Friday, KU was intent on ending Sunday’s match in regulation.
Junior Aurelie Gagnet and the KU defense picked up their fifth shutout of the season in the Jayhawks’ 1-0 win over Oklahoma Sunday.With 90 seconds remaining, the Jayhawks used a goal kick to spark an attack. Freshman Grace Hagan flicked the ball downfield where Williams was able to run on to the pass. The Albuquerque, New Mexico product then evaded the last defender as she entered the Oklahoma penalty area. From 10 yards away she let loose a strike that the Oklahoma keeper was unable to stop as the ball found the inside of the far post.
The goal came with 80 seconds remaining in regulation and marked the eighth goal this season Kansas has scored within the final 15 minutes of regulation or overtime.
Williams’ goal also marked the 10th game-winner of her career and moved the senior to third on the Jayhawks’ all-time list for game-winners in a career.
KU thwarted some late Oklahoma attempts to level the score over the final minute of action and completed a weekend sweep of Baylor and Oklahoma. The win was the Jayhawks sixth in its last seven outings.
The first 88 minutes were a defensive struggle with both squads coming close to breaking open the scoring, but neither able to find the back of the net. Kansas put only four of its 13 shots on frame, while Oklahoma managed to put six of its 15 shots on target. Sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns picked up several key saves in the second half, with her sixth stop in the 86th minute, marking a new career high.
Prior to her assist on Williams’ game-winner, Hagan tallied a game-high four shots, while six of her KU teammates managed to post at least one shot on the day. Dobyns and the KU defense picked up their fifth shutout of the season and third in their last four matches. Kansas now boasts an opponent scoreless streak of 303 minutes, it’s longest stretch of the season.
Kansas will now kick off the three-match road stint on Friday, Oct. 16 when it visits defending Big 12 champion West Virginia. The Jayhawks and Mountaineers will kick off from Morgantown at 6 p.m. (CT).
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