LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Caroline Kastor shot in a pair of goals to help the Kansas Jayhawks down the 23rd-ranked Baylor Bears 2-0 Sunday inside the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. The win snapped a five-game winless streak for KU and earned the Jayhawks their first conference win of the season.
The win lifts Kansas to 6-8-2 in 2013 with a 1-3-1 record in league play. Baylor falls to 8-5-3 this season and goes to 1-4-1 in the Big 12.
“This win could definitely be a turning point for us,” said head coach Mark Francis. “The key for us today was when we had the ball, we played our game and played to our strengths. We really needed to stick with what we do well and the girls did a really good job of that. Collectively, it was just a great effort from our kids today.”
After going over 400 minutes without a goal, the Kansas offense wasted little time in taking the early advantage Sunday. Just over ten minutes into the match, the Jayhawks turned away a Baylor free kick on their own end of the field and sophomore Liana Salazar quickly took the ball the other way on a speedy counterattack.
Salazar played an on-point pass forward to Kastor who saw nothing but grass between her and the BU goalkeeper, Michelle Kloss. The Wichita native put in a shot from just inside the 18-yard box that slid past the outstretched arms of Kloss and into the back of the net to put Kansas up 1-0.
The goal was the fifth of the year for Kastor and the third assist of the season for Salazar.
KU dodged two bullets later in the first half. Baylor twice saw goals taken away after it appeared to tie up the match on scores set up by free kicks. Both times the offside flag was raised, preserving the KU lead, which it took in to the halftime locker room.
The frantic pace continued in the second period but the Kansas defense hung strong. KU’s goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud came up with five saves over the final 30 minutes of play to preserve the shutout and keep the Jayhawks holding on to the 1-0 advantage.
In the 77th minute Kastor put in her second of the day on an athletic strike from just inside the BU penalty box. She was fed by junior Jamie Fletcher at the top of the box and spun around her defender before letting loose a left-footed strike toward Baylor’s frame. The shot slid just inside the right post and put KU up 2-0 with less than 14 minutes left in the match.
Kastor’s third-career multi-goal game marked the 25th and 26th goals of her career and moved her into a tie with Rachael Gillfillan for No. 2 on Kansas’ all-time goal-scoring chart.
KU withstood a handful of frantic Baylor attempts to get back into the match over the final 10 minutes but the Bears were unable to mount the comeback as the Jayhawks earned its first win in league play.
Kastor led the Jayhawks and tied a career-high with six shots in 82 minutes. Six other Jayhawks got into the offensive action by posting at least one of KU’s 15 shots on the day. Stroud earned her fifth career shutout with the help of seven saves. She has now amassed 80 stops this season and leads the Big 12 with her five save per game average.
The Jayhawks will hit the road next weekend to play its final two Big 12 road games of the 2013 season. Kansas will take on No. 15 Texas Tech in Lubbock on Friday, Oct. 25 for a 7 p.m. kickoff. KU will then hit the pitch against Oklahoma State on Sunday, Oct. 27 in Stillwater. The Jayhawks and Cowgirls are slated to kickoff at 12 p.m.