|Stats at a Glance
|Shot on Goal %
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks will look to shake a two-game losing skid when they go up against the Iowa State Cyclones on Friday, Oct. 24 at Rock Chalk Park. The match, set to kick off at 7 p.m., will mark the final home appearance of the Jayhawk senior class, which will be honored following the game.
Over the Airwaves
Fans will be able to follow the Jayhawks in every match this year by listening to the free, live radio broadcast via leanStream on KUAthletics.com. To listen to Derek Johnson and Nick Dodson’s call, fans can visit the free online player located at KUAthletics.com/Radio.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas, which checked in at No. 15 in the latest NSCAA coaches’ poll, is coming of its first back-to-back losses of the year after falling to top-25 foes Texas Tech and West Virginia in Lawrence last weekend. The Jayhawks lead the Big 12 in several categories including goals allowed and shutouts and have already clinched a spot in the league tournament to be held in Kansas City’s Swope Soccer Village Nov. 5-9.
Junior Liana Salazar leads the squad with her nine goals. The mark is second in the Big 12 and her 22 points are tied for the league lead. Three other Jayhawks have tallied three or more goals. The Jayhawk offense has netted 31 goals but is currently riding a 207-minute scoreless streak, the team’s longest this year. KU is averaging five shots on goal per game but is managing to get almost 37 percent of those to the back of the net. Kansas attacks through several players, as 11 different Jayhawks have notched at least one goal this year and 13 different players have managed to tally five or more shots on the year.
The KU defense has been one of the best in the nation this season, allowing just 10 goals and limiting its opponents to 11 shots per match. Senior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud has posted a 0.56 goals against average in 16 games between the posts with the help of a league-leading .878 save percentage. Kansas has allowed more than one opponent goal in only one match this year, to No. 10 West Virginia last weekend.
About the Cyclones
Iowa State began its season with wins in six of its first nine outings but is currently in the middle of a six-game losing streak, five of which have come in Big 12 play. The Cyclones scored 17 goals in that first nine-game span but are riding a 603-minute scoreless streak that dates back to Sept. 21.
Iowa State has scored 18 goals this year which includes 11 goals scored in games played away from Ames. The Cyclones are notching over nine shots per game and putting over 45 percent of those on frame. Sophomore Koree Willer leads the squad with eight goals this year while senior forward Hayley Womack is tops on the squad with three assists.
The Cyclone defense has allowed 19 opponent goals in 2014, which includes eight in Big 12 play. ISU has tallied three shutouts in 2014 and has held opponents to one goal in seven additional outings. Cyclone opponents have posted just over 12.7 shots per match, including nearly five shots on goal per game. Senior goalkeeper Andrea Swanson has played each minute of the season between the posts for ISU, amassing 59 saves, stopping 75 percent of the shots put on goal and tallying three shutouts. Swanson’s 3.9 saves per game ranks fifth among Big 12 keepers.
Tony Minatta is in his first season as the head coach at ISU. Minatta, who served as an assistant coach at Iowa State the past two seasons, helped return Cyclone soccer to the Big 12 Tournament with a fourth-place conference finish in 2013, the highest for ISU since 2007. Iowa State finished the 2013 season in the top five in the Big 12 in shots (289), assists (25), saves (93) and shutouts (7). In his first year at the helm, Minatta guided the Cyclones to their first 10-win season since 2005 and the second-most goals scored (37) in a season in program history.
So Long, Seniors
Friday’s match will mark the final home game for Jayhawk seniors Jamie Fletcher, Ali Kimura, Kelsey Lyden, Kaitlyn Stroud, Caroline Van Slambrouck and Haley Yearout. These six have seen 42 KU victories in their four seasons in Lawrence and have helped their team to its fourth-straight Big 12 tournament berth. Combined, these six accumulated 234 starts and have played over 22,000 minutes in the Crimson and Blue. This senior class is also just the second in program history to have three players who have each tallied 5,000 minutes or more.
Just One Will Do It
The 2014 Jayhawks have carried on an impressive trend that has developed over the last two years when it comes to scoring. Since the start of the 2012 season the Kansas soccer team has scored at least one goal in 37 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 31-3-3. Kansas was won or drawn all but three matches in which they have scored, which includes a perfect 14-0-0 record this season.
The one goal trend has obviously proven fruitful for Kansas this season is, until KU’s most recent loss to West Virginia, the Jayhawks held their opponents to one goal or less in each of their first 16 matches of the year. That 16-match streak is the second-longest in program history and is only topped by the 2003 and 2004 squads, which combined to hold 29-straight opponents to one goal or fewer from Oct. 19, 2003- Nov. 3, 2004.
This year’s Kansas squad is bearing a striking resemblance to another notable KU team, perhaps the most successful in the program’s history. The 2004 Jayhawks won a program record 18 games and claimed the school’s first and only Big 12 regular-season title. That team is one which several of the Kansas squads that have followed it have tried to replicate but this year’s team is doing the best job.
A quick comparison of both teams’ stat sheets at the same point in their respective seasons show some remarkable similarities. Each team featured a potent offense scoring almost two goals per match and featured a star goal scorer. Future All-American Caroline Smith led the team with 11 goals in 2004 while Liana Salazar has already put in nine goals this year. While the offenses for each squad were good, the two teams’ defenses were even better. The 2004 Jayhawks allowed a mere five goals through 17 games with the 2014 squad conceding just 10 goals. Both figures led the conference at that point in the year. Both the 2004 and 2014 Jayhawks also touted impressive goal differential of +21 or better following their first 17 outings.
Each team also had more than 10 different goal scorers at the 15-match mark, hadn’t allowed more than one goal in a match and tallied two opponent scoreless streaks of 290 minutes or longer. The squads had a gritty and aggressive make-up, with both teams committing around 11 fouls per game and already having earned 10 or more yellow cards.
Both groups also were able to string a good number of wins together in the first halves of their seasons. The 2004 squad began its season with six-straight wins. The feat has only been topped one other time in school history, when the 2014 Jayhawks rattled off eight-in-a-row to begin this year.
Save It, Stroud!
Kansas’ senior goalkeeper, Kaitlyn Stroud, is quickly putting together one of the greatest seasons a Jayhawk keeper has ever seen. The Fayetteville, Georgia native is boasting a career-low goals against average of 0.56, which leads the Big 12 and is only topped by 13 other keepers in the NCAA who have logged more than 1,000 minutes. She has saved 88 percent of the shots KU opponents have put on frame, which is also the best in the conference and ranks 18th in the nation.
Stroud is on pace to set all sorts of school records. If her stellar defense continues at this pace, she’ll set a new single-season best in goals-against average and tally the second-most wins by a KU keeper in a single season. Megan Miller (2001-04) currently holds the record in each of the goalkeeping categories with a GAA of 0.57, a save percentage of .881 and 11 shutouts, all of which came in 2004.
On the career goalkeeping charts, Stroud has continued to move up this year. She currently sits third on the all-time saves chart with 269 stops. Her 1.19 career goals-against average is the second-lowest by a Jayhawk and her .794 save percentage is No. 3 on the KU charts. Stroud’s 13 career shutouts rank third all-time and are just three shy of tying Julie Hanley for second on the all-time shutouts list.
Turning Things Around
Still with two games to play this regular season, the 2014 Jayhawks have already achieved one of the best turnarounds in program history. Last season, Kansas won seven games and tied twice, while this year’s team has already picked up seven more victories and still has two regular-season games to go. This mark ties program’s best turnaround which belongs to the 2003 squad that also won seven more games than the year prior.
Head coach Mark Francis is no stranger to monumental turnarounds. After a 2-17 season during first season at South Alabama, Francis led the Jaguars to an 18-3-1 mark during the 1997 season. The 16-win turnaround is still the biggest in NCAA Division I soccer history.
First to Score, Wins Galore
Over its past 57 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 57-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 31-1-2 in those games, which includes a 14-0-0 mark this year.
On the flip side, KU hasn’t been quite as fortunate when its opponents have gotten on the board first. Kansas has not won a game in that same 57-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are 0-21-1 in those games over the last two years, including an 0-3-0 mark this year.
LET’s GET DEFENSIVE
While the Jayhawk offense has been as potent as the program has seen in some time, the defense has been just as impressive. With eight shutouts this season, Kansas is currently boasting a goals-against average of 0.56, the lowest in the Big 12 and the 16th-best mark in the nation. The Jayhawks have allowed just 10 goals on the year and no more than one opponent goal in all but one match. KU went 298 minutes without conceding a goal from Sept. 5-19, the 11th-longest streak in school history, and recently wrapped up a 360-minute long streak, which ranks fifth in school history.
Kansas opponents’ lack of goal scoring may be attributed to the Jayhawks’ ability to keep the opposing team’s shot percentage low. Of the 189 shots KU has allowed this season, opponents are putting just over 40 percent of those on target and only getting 12 percent of those shots on frame past goalkeeper, Kaitlyn Stroud, and into the back of the net.
With the release of the latest Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) report by the NCAA this week, several good signs stick out for the Jayhawks. Kansas checked in at No. 14 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 third-straight week the Jayhawks sat inside the top-20.
This week’s report shows that the Big 12 is among the nation’s toughest conferences after the first three weeks of league play. The conference tallied the second-highest ranking in the week’s RPI and boasts seven of its nine teams inside the top-50. The Big 12’s high ranking also means the Jayhawks will get plenty of chances to up their national standing with No. 45 Oklahoma on tap for KU’s final regular-season game as well as the Big 12 Championship which could pit the Jayhawks against several more highly-ranked squads.
Through 17 games this season, Kansas has proven itself to be an aggressive squad in terms of fouls and cautions. The Jayhawks have been whistled for 174 fouls in 2014, which equates to over 10 fouls per match. That mark is the second-most among Big 12 teams this year and is the highest average by a Kansas team in four seasons.
KU has also become quite familiar with the referee’s yellow card this season as the Jayhawks have been already been cautioned on 12 different occasions. This total is a stark contrast from recent Kansas squads. During the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Kansas was shown yellow just 16 times, which included KU earning only one yellow throughout the entire 2012 campaign.
While this aggressive style of play may worry some, it has boded well for past Kansas squads. Four of the five Kansas teams that have advanced to the NCAA Tournament averaged 10.5 or more fouls per match and were each carded at least 12 times during their seasons.
Spreading the Wealth
The Kansas offense has shown that it could be a tough assignment for opposing defenses this year after a host of Jayhawks have made their presence known on the stat sheet. Fourteen different Jayhawks have had their hand in at least one of the Jayhawks’ 31 goals thus far in 2014, either scoring or assisting. Five additional players have managed to tally at least one shot. While Liana Salazar has notched almost a quarter of the team’s total shots (46), no other Jayhawk has taken more than 13 percent of the team’s total shots (208) thus far. Eighteen players have combined for the remaining 162 shots.
A year ago, the KU offense was slightly more one sided as only three different players had combined for nearly 60 percent of the team’s shots during the entire year.
This Day in Kansas Soccer History
OCTOBER 24, 2003 – The Jayhawks tied the program record with their 13th win when they dispatched of Oklahoma, 3-1, in Lawrence. All four goals were scored within the opening 30 minutes. Kansas’ Lauren Williams put in her first of the year off a rebound in the seventh minute but the sooners leveled the score 12 minutes later. KU then netted the go-ahead goal off the foot of Monica Brothers in the 23rd minute while Caroline Smith shot in her 16th of the season six minutes later to give KU its third goal of the day. KU tallied 20 shots to Oklahoma’s 14 and the Jayhawks featured four players with three shots or more.
Kansas will pack up for its final contest of the regular season when it journeys to Norman, Oklahoma for a Halloween date with the Oklahoma Sooners. KU and OU will kick off from John Crain Field at 7 p.m., in a match that could have heavy influence on seeding for the Big 12 Championship to be held at Kansas City’s Swope Soccer Village the following week.
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