KU Soccer Squad Prepares For Home Opener

LAWRENCE, Kan. -

The Kansas soccer team will play its first of 10 home contests this weekend when the Jayhawks host non-conference foes 19th-ranked Brigham Young and SMU. KU will face the Cougars at 5 p.m. Thursday and the Ponies at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both matches will be played at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

About the Jayhawks
Kansas opened the season last weekend at the Ohana Hotels & Resorts No Ka Oi Tournament in Waipahu, Hawaii. The Jayhawks fell to the host Rainbow Wahine on Friday evening before earning a draw with Auburn. KU opened the season ranked 26th in the Soccer Buzz national poll, but fell out of the top 30 this week. Kansas returns 18 letterwinners from last year's squad, which finished 11-7-1.

Scouting the Cougars
Brigham Young enters the weekend ranked 19th in the latest Soccer America poll. The Cougars defeated Michigan State 1-0 in overtime in their first match of the season on Aug. 31.

Freshman midfielder Kassidy Christensen scored the game-winning goal in the 94th minute last Friday, while fellow freshman Becca Riddle collected an assist on the play. Riddle and Christensen led the team with three shots each in the Michigan State match. Senior goalkeeper Erika Woodbury made five saves to earn the shutout.

Head coach Jennifer Rockwood is in her 14th season at BYU and has a record of 194-61-18 at the school. Rockwood's team returns 12 starters and 18 letterwinners from last year's squad, which finished 13-3-4 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The teams have split their previous two meetings, with KU taking a 1-0 victory away from the Cougars in Provo on Aug. 30, 2004.

Scouting the Ponies
SMU is also coming off a win in its season opener, taking down UT-San Antonio 2-1 on Aug. 31. The Ponies are ranked eighth in the Soccer Buzz Central Region poll.

Senior Kimber Bailey led the Ponies' offense in the first match, scoring the first goal and collecting an assist on the team's game-winner. Senior Allison Brill scored SMU's second goal in the 65th minute. Bailey and sophomore Kim Peabody led the team with six shots. Junior goalkeeper Ashley Gunter made a pair of saves to earn the victory in net.

SMU's Brett Erwin is in his first season as a collegiate head coach. Erwin previously held assistant coaching positions with the SMU and UCF men's teams. The first-year head coach inherited a team that returns eight starters and 17 letterwinners from last year's squad, which finished 17-5-1 and won the Conference USA title. This will be the first meeting between the schools on the soccer pitch.

Last Time Out
Senior Emily Strinden scored her first goal of the season while goalkeeper Colleen Quinn made five saves as the University of Kansas played to a draw with Auburn, 1-1, Saturday evening at Waipio Peninsula Stadium.

Strinden's goal came late in the first half on a play set up by a Lauren Jackson free kick from just across the midfield stripe. KU outshot AU 8-2 in the first half, however the Tigers turned the tables in the second, netting the equalizing goal with less than eight minutes to play.

KU fell in its first match of the season to the University of Hawai'i.

Red-dy Or Not
For the first time since 2004, the Kansas soccer team will don red uniforms for Thursday's match with Brigham Young. The Jayhawks have not worn their red uniforms since the 2004 season, which is also the year that KU won Big 12 regular season title.

We Were Honored
Kansas junior Jessica Bush and sophomore Monica Dolinsky were both honored at the Ohana Hotels & Resorts No Ka Oi Tournament by being selected to the all-tournament team. Bush recorded four shots in the Jayhawks' 1-1 tie with Auburn on Saturday evening and five during the two-match tournament. Dolinsky earned all-tournament honors for the third-straight time at a regular season invitational, dating back to last season.

First Points
Freshmen Erin Lewis and Lauren Jackson each recorded their first collegiate points over the weekend, collecting assists on Emily Strinden's goal against Auburn. Jackson, a 5-foot-5 defender from Long Beach, Calif. started the play by sending a free kick into the box, where Lewis, a 5-foot-3 midfielder, tapped the ball to Strinden for the goal.

Lewis and Jackson were also two of seven KU freshmen to appear in their first collegiate match over the weekend. The other five included Kaitlyn Cunningham, Erin Ellefson, Geneva Magness, Rachel Morris and Katie Williams.

Quick Kicks
• Kansas dropped its season opener for just the second time in the Mark Francis era, falling to Hawaii 4-0 on Aug. 31.
• Senior Emily Strinden's goal was her second in as many years against an SEC school. Strinden recorded the game-winning tally in KU's 2-1 overtime triumph against Alabama last season.
• KU goalkeeper Colleen Quinn made five saves, the most since she recorded five at Iowa State on Nov. 2, 2005.
• Senior Afton Sauer started both contests at the Ohana Hotels & Resorts No Ka Oi Tournament to move her streak to 64 consecutive starts. Sauer is chasing former Jayhawk goalkeeper Meghan Miller, who started 87 straight matches from 2001-04.
• Sauer did, however, play in just 69 minutes of the Hawaii match, marking just the second time since her freshman season that she has not been on the field for every minute of a KU match.
• Juniors Missy Geha and Jenny Murtaugh also extended their respective streaks to 41 straight starts.
• The Jayhawks were assessed 24 fouls and three cards in the match against Auburn. The 24 fouls called on KU were the most since Oct. 9, 1998, when the Jayhawks were whistled for a team-record 25 fouls. The three yellow cards assessed matches the program high, marking the sixth time it has happened since 1999.
• KU was whistled for six offsides in the Hawaii match on Aug. 31. This marks the first time the Jayhawks have been called for as many offsides since Sept. 14, 2004 in a match at Illinois.

Looking Ahead
After hosting non-conference foes Brigham Young and SMU this weekend, Kansas will travel to Portland, Ore. to participate in the Portland Invitational Sept. 14-16. The Jayhawks will face top-ranked Portland at 9 p.m. CST on Sept. 14, and Washington at 1 p.m. CST on Sept. 16. KU's contest with the Huskies will be carried live on CSTV's XXL internet broadcast.


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