KU Soccer Sees Five Named to All-Big 12 Teams
IRVING, Texas – For the first time in a decade, Kansas soccer saw three Jayhawks named to the All-Big 12 First Team as the postseason awards were released by the conference office Monday. In all, five Jayhawk student-athletes were recognized on the league’s postseason awards lists after the team finished 15-4 overall and earned the No. 3 seed in this week’s Big 12 Championship.
Junior Liana Salazar was a unanimous selection and claimed First Team All-Big 12 honors for the second-straight year, and was joined by senior Caroline Van Slambrouck and junior Ashley Williams on the first team. Senior midfielder Jamie Fletcher earned a spot on the second team for the second time in her career while freshman defender Kayla Morrison joined her teammates on the conference lists, being named to the Big 12’s All-Newcomer Team.
Salazar, a native of Bogota, Colombia, found herself on the Big 12’s first team for the second-consecutive season after she was named to the All-Newcomer team three seasons ago as a freshman. The midfielder started all of KU’s 19 matches this season, scoring a team-leading 11 goals which ranked second in the Big 12. She also dished out four assists and scored four game-winning goals. Salazar’s selection marked the first time a Jayhawk has been unanimously selected to the league’s first team.
Van Slambrouck saw her name on the Big 12 First Team list for the first time in her successful KU career. The Kingwood, Texas native has played in 76 of 78 games as a Jayhawk, including 18 of 19 matches this season as one of the Jayhawks’ central defenders. With Van Slambrouck’s help, the KU defense allowed the fewest goals (12) in the Big 12 this season and tallied the second-lowest goals-against average in school history at 0.63 opponent goals per game.
Williams earned a spot on the first team for the first time after she was named to the All-Newcomer team as a freshman in 2012. The Albuquerque, New Mexico product, was second on the team and fourth in the Big 12 with seven goals, six of which came in Kansas’ final 13 games. Williams’ four game-winning goals also ranked second in the Big 12.
Kansas saw three players selected to the conference’s first team for the first time since there were four Jayhawks featured in 2004.
Fletcher was selected to the All-Big 12 second team for the second time in her career. The senior out of Albuquerque drilled in two goals this season and added 32 shots after missing the first seven games of the year due to injury.
Rounding out the Kansas selections was Morrison, who became the sixth KU freshman in the last six seasons to claim a spot on the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. The Corona, California native started as an outside defender in all 19 of Kansas’ games this season, averaging 75 minutes per outing. Like Van Slambrouck, Morrison was a key instrument in the Jayhawks’ lockdown defense throughout the year, helping the squad to eight shutouts, which were the most by a Jayhawk team since 2006. The freshman also added a goal and an assist in her debut season in Lawrence.
The announcement means Kansas has had at least one Jayhawk on the All-Big 12 teams each year since the current format began in 2000. The five Jayhawks selected also marked the third-straight season three or more KU representatives were selected to the all-conference squads. Selections for the All-Big 12 teams were voted on by the league’s coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Kansas concluded its regular season last weekend going 15-4-0 overall to earn the No. 3 seed at the Big 12 Soccer Championship to be held in Kansas City, Missouri this week. The Jayhawks are scheduled to take on the No. 6-seeded Oklahoma on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. inside the Swope Soccer Village.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.