LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas soccer saw three Jayhawks score and four chip in assists as KU shutout the Pacific Tigers 3-0 Sunday afternoon inside the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Senior forward Caroline Kastor notched her first goal of the year and also added an assist as her team tallied its first win of the season.
The Jayhawks finished their first weekend of regular season play with a 1-1 record, while the Tigers fell 0-2 on the year.
Two days after the its offense was unable to muster a single goal in its 1-0 loss at Arkansas, Kansas took out its frustrations on the Pacific defense. Three Jayhawks got onto the score sheet and four contributed with assists in the game that marked the first ever meeting between the Jayhawks and Tigers.
It only took 12 minutes for KU to take the lead as junior midfielder Jamie Fletcher put in her team’s first goal of the 2013 campaign. Kastor was able to beat her defender as she streaked down the left side of the field and played a strong ball in to the Pacific penalty box. Kastor’s pass found the open foot of Fletcher, who unleashed a strong, right-footed strike from 10 yards out that snuck in under the Pacific crossbar.
The goal was the 11th of Fletcher’s career and gave KU the all-important early upper hand in the match.
Both teams went back and forth for the remainder of the opening frame, with each getting several looks at goal. Perhaps Pacific’s best look of the entire match came in the waning seconds of the first half when Tiger midfielder Zarette Munoz-Aguilar found space just outside the KU box. The sophomore put a strong shot on goal, however Kansas’ goalkeeper, Kaitlyn Stroud was there for a diving save to keep KU on top as the teams headed into the half.
Kansas continued to put the pressure on as it entered the second frame and was able to extended its lead just over 11 minutes into the half. After a Pacific foul near its own goal, defender Hayley Yearout lined up a KU free kick from around 25 yards out. The junior played the ball in towards the far post and found sophomore forward Courtney Dickerson. Dickerson used one touch to pass the ball back in front of the Tiger’s goal, where junior Caroline Van Slambrouck had an easy chip in for the Jayhawks’ second score of the day.
Van Slambrouck’s goal was the second for the defender in her career and gave Dickerson and Yearout the third and fourth assists of their Jayhawk careers, respectively.
Kansas had several more opportunities over the next 30 minutes of play and continued to set up breaks down the field but Pacific’s back line made it difficult as the Kansas forwards were called for 10 offside penalties in the match.
Over the final 10 minutes of action the KU defenders took center stage with the Pacific offense scrambling for the two goals it need to extend the match. The Jayhawk back line stood strong though, ending the game with the shutout victory and allowing only four Pacific shots on goal.
With just over a minute remaining, Kansas’ offense saw one more opportunity to put the final exclamation point on their victory. In the 89th-minute, sophomore Ashley Williams intercepted a poorly cleared ball by the Tiger goalkeeper and, after some clever dribbling inside the Pacific penalty box, found Kastor streaking into the penalty box. The senior tapped in the easy goal and put the Jayhawks up 3-0.
Kastor’s goal was the 21st of her career and, coupled with her assist earlier in the match, marked her fourth match as a Jayhawk with three or more points. It also moved her career point total to 54 and slid her up to fifth on the all-time Kansas points chart.
The full time whistle blew just seconds after Kastor’s goal and gave KU its first win of 2013.
Stroud ended the match with the first shutout of her career, notching four saves on 15 shots faced. Shot leaders for the Jayhawks were Fletcher, who tallied four shots and Liana Salazar, who managed three shots, two of which were on target.
The Jayhawks will travel to their second road game in three matches as they take on Missouri State in Springfield, Mo., on Friday, Aug. 30. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. Kansas will then return home for a Sunday date with Purdue in Lawrence. The Boilermakers and Jayhawks will take to the pitch at 1 p.m.