LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Soccer will kick off its 12-game spring schedule on Friday, March 1 when the Jayhawks travel to Lincoln, Neb., to take on former Big 12 foe Nebraska at 7:30 p.m. Following the matchup with the Cornhuskers, the Jayhawks will embark on a 10-day European trip March 15-24 that will include four matches played in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Dates and times are still to be determined.
“The nice thing about this spring is we’re going to Europe so we get to play four extra games,” said head coach Mark Francis. “This will be a great time for us to get better because we have more games and more practice time. This is something we’ll need to take advantage of.”
Upon the team’s return from Europe, KU will play in three tournaments in three-consecutive weeks. The first will take place at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex in Lawrence and will include contests versus South Dakota State and Drake. Both games will be played on April 13th at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
The following week KU will venture to Ames, Iowa to take part in the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge. The Jayhawks will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Iowa Hawkeyes on April 20th. Kickoff times have yet to be determined.
Kansas will then return home for the final tournament of the spring slate as it hosts Arkansas and UMKC on April 27th with start times set at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
The Jayhawks will end their spring schedule against the NWSL’s (National Women’s Soccer League) FC Kansas City. Date, location and time are still to be announced. The Jayhawks will see a familiar face on FCKC when they welcome former Jayhawk and midfield standout Whitney Berry. Berry was drafted in the third round of the NWSL draft by FCKC on Jan. 18.
“We’ll need to take care of those little details this spring,” concluded Francis. “We’ll not be looking at X’s and O’s as much as we’re emphasizing mental toughness and how to play better in close games.”
KU concluded the 2012 campaign with a 10-8-2 record, ending the season with a loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks will look to use this spring schedule to improve their team which returns 17 letterwinners.