Jayhawks to Close Out Road Weekend at Oklahoma State Sunday

Freshman forward Grace Hagan

Game 17: Kansas at Oklahoma State
Time 1 p.m. (CT)
Location Stillwater, Okla.
Stadium Cowgirl Soccer Complex
Series Tied, 9-9-3

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Online: KUAthletics.com

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NOTES Kansas
Oklahoma State
Stats at a Glance KU OSU
Record 8-7-1 8-7-2
Goals/GM 1.19 1.88
Shots/GM 16.6 17.0
Shot % .071 .111
Shot on Goal % .391 .443
Goals Allowed/GM 1.25 1.18
Saves/GM 4.1 3.1
Save % .765 .722
Fouls/GM 8.1 12/1
Yellows/Reds 10/0 17/0


STILLWATER, Okla. – Coming off a pair of shutout losses at the hands of top-25 opponents, the University of Kansas soccer team will look to return to its winning ways when the Jayhawks pay a visit to the Oklahoma State Cowgirls on Sunday, Oct. 25. Kickoff from the Cowgirl Soccer Complex is set for 1 p.m., and can be viewed via a live stream on YouTube.
Kansas is looking to rebound following two-straight shutout losses to West Virginia and Texas Tech on the road. The Jayhawks will look to end its regular season strong with two more matches to come this week. KU has already clinched its spot at the Big 12 Championship to be held in Kansas City, Missouri Nov. 4-8 and still has the ability to claim the No. 2 seed in the league tournament.
The KU offense has hit a rough patch recently, unable to net a goal in its last 181 minutes of play. On the season, Kansas is averaging almost 17 shots per match and is putting 39.1 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 almost a third of the team’s total shots this season as well as seven of the squad’s 15 assists.
The Jayhawk defense allowed at least one goal in all but one of its first nine outings, but recently wrapped up a 307-minute opponent scoreless streak, the program’s 10th-longest ever. Jayhawk opponents have notched 13.2 shots per game with a total of 85 on target, or an average of 5.3 per match. Sophomore Maddie Dobyns has started all 17 matches in goal for the Jayhawks. She is boasting a save percentage of .775 and has a goals-against average of 1.12 with 62 saves in nearly 1,450 minutes of action.
The Oklahoma State Cowgirls had a five-game unbeaten streak halted on Friday night at the hands of No. 2-ranked West Virginia, 2-1, in overtime. OSU’s lone win in conference came at Iowa State in a 1-0 victory, but has tallied a pair of draws against Texas Tech and Texas. Prior to Friday night, the Cowgirls had allowed no opponent goals in four-straight matches.
The Oklahoma State offense has been solid this season, only being shut out on three occasions and scoring multiple goals six times. The Cowgirls are averaging 1.88 goals and 17 shots per match. OSU has also gotten over 44 percent of its tries on frame. Six different players have recorded at least three goals on the season. Junior forward Courtney Dike leads her team with five goals this season and is also tops on her squad with six assists. Six different Cowgirls have posted at least 24 shots this season, with Allie Stephenson leading the way via her 45 shots.
The OSU defense has enjoyed a solid season, allowing only two goals in its last five outings and posting seven shutouts on the year. Oklahoma State has allowed an average of 13.1 opponent shots in its first 17 games, in which Cowgirl opponents are getting 4.2 shots on frame per match. Sophomore goalkeeper Michela Ongaro has started in goal in all of OSU’s 17 outings. She has tallied 49 saves for an average of 2.9 per appearance and has collected four solo shutouts. She also is boasting a goals-against average of 1.17 and a save percentage of .710.
Colin Carmichael is in his 11th season as the head coach of the Oklahoma State women’s soccer program. Carmichael has led the Cowgirls to eight appearances in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, including six straight from 2006-11, and after advancing to the second round of the NCAA tourney four-straight years, the Cowgirls made back-to-back trips to the Elite Eight in 2010 and 2011.
A world-class goal from the reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, Janine Beckie, proved to be the difference as the Kansas Jayhawks fell to No. 21 Texas Tech, 1-0, Friday night inside John Walker Soccer Complex. Beckie netted the eventual game-winner in the 56th minute while Red Raider goalkeeper Lauren Watson tallied eight saves to hand the Jayhawks their second-straight shutout.
The Jayhawks got out to a fast start in the match, controlling the majority of the possession and creating most of the offensive chances over the opening 30 minutes of action. Kansas outshot the Red Raiders by a tally of 13-5 over the opening half and earned four corner kicks to TTU’s one. But despite the Jayhawks’ dominance in the run of play, they couldn’t solve All-Big 12 Second Team goalkeeper, Lauren Watson and find the back of the net.
The Red Raiders took advantage of their first prime chance of the game seven minutes later, when Beckie ran on to a long ball played forward that had got in behind the KU defense. Beckie sent in a bullet strike from the right side of the KU box into the left side netting to give her team the lead. The goal was Beckie’s Big 12-leading 10th goal of the year.
KU recently closed out a 307 minute opponent scoring streak, the 10th-longest streak in school history, and the third streak longer than 290 minutes since the start of the 2014 season.
Kansas opponents’ lack of goal scoring may be attributed to the Jayhawks’ ability to keep the opposing team’s shot on goal percentage low. Of the 197 shots KU has allowed this season, opponents are putting just 40 percent those on target and only getting 9.6 percent of those shots past goalkeeper, Maddie Dobyns.
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 rattled off six wins in its next seven outings, which helped KU turn around the season. 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 posting 15.4 shots per match but only putting 38 percent of those on goal. Since then though, Kansas’ offense has been stellar. In its next seven games, the Jayhawks shot in 14 goals, which were scored by seven different players. KU has also averaged 18 shots in those seven outings and has put nearly 43 percent of them on target.
It wasn’t just the Kansas offense that has seen marked improvement, 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 seven games to follow, allowed only four opponent goals to find the back of their net, which included four 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 its next seven matches, that number has dropped to a minuscule 31.7 percent.
KU has seen numerous instances of late-game heroics already this year. Of the 19 goals Kansas has scored this season, 10 of them have come within the final 25 minutes of regulation or in overtime. Six KU game-winning goals have also come within the final 25 minutes of action, including Ashley Williams’ goal in the 89th minute versus Oklahoma (10/11).
Speaking of game-winners, a total of four different Jayhawks have posted at least one game-winning goal this season.
The Jayhawks have become well acclimated to life away from the friendly confines of Rock Chalk Park this season with nine of their 15 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 16 true road games since the start of the 2014 season, amassing a record of 10-5-1, which includes a 5-3-1 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 1.09, have tallied six clean sheets and have outshot teams by an average of 14.1-12.3 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 18 goals, tallying 71 saves and amassing a save percentage of .798.
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 19 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 almost a third of the team’s total shots (78), seven of their teammates can boast adding 10 or more attempts to the team’s total of 244.
This is a trend that 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. 58 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 14th-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-85. The conference’s high ranking also means the Jayhawks will get plenty of chances to up their national standing as two of their next three contests will be against teams currently ranked inside the top-90 of the RPI.
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.
Kansas’ win over Baylor on Oct. 9 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 15-18-22 in matches decided in overtime for a winning percentage of .474, but over the last four-plus seasons, the Jayhawks have turned up their game in extra time. Including its extra time wins over Colorado College, Arkansas and Baylor, Kansas is 9-4-1 in overtime games since the start of the 2011 season.
Over its past 76 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 76-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 38-1-2 in those games, which already includes a 6-0-0 mark this year. The Jayhawks’ win against Oklahoma on Oct. 11 marked their 28th-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’ wins over Colorado College and Arkansas on Sept. 13 and Sept. 17, respectively, were the first and only wins in that same 76-game span when finding itself trailing 1-0 at any point in a match. The Jayhawks are 2-31-1 in those games over the last three years, including an 0-6-0 mark in 2014 and a 2-7-0 mark this season.
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 50 matches. The Jayhawks’ record in those matches: 40-7-3. Kansas was won or drawn all but seven matches in which it has scored, including a 23-4-0 record in those instances this season and last.
Kansas will close out the regular season when the Jayhawks welcome the TCU Horned Frogs to Lawrence on Friday, Oct. 30. KU and TCU will kick off at 7 p.m., in what will be the final home match for seniors Liana Salazar, Ashley Williams and Courtney Dickerson.
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