Archive for Monday, October 29, 2001

Freshmen lead Kansas past Baylor

October 29, 2001

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Kansas University's freshman soccer players either don't care about the history of their program or they just can't wait to rewrite it.

The young Jayhawks continued to play like seasoned veterans, accounting for all the scoring in KU's 3-0 victory over Baylor on Sunday at SuperTarget Field.

"They just have really energized this team this year," senior Natalie Hoogveld said.

The victory KU's first in six games against Baylor adds more firsts to what has already been the best season in Jayhawk history. Before Sunday, Kansas was 4-17-2 all-time against schools from Texas with all four wins coming against Texas Tech. Last year KU tied Baylor 1-1.

"Today was another big step for this program," said coach Mark Francis, whose team improved to 11-5 overall and 6-3 in the Big 12 Conference. "It's huge to beat a good team 3-0 in a game that was never really in doubt for us."

Baylor fell to 8-8 and 4-6.

The Jayhawks got on the board in the 14th minute when freshman Stacy Leeper booted a ball from 20 yards out.

The ball started hooking to Hoogveld near the goal, but the senior missed a kick attempt and the ball rolled past Baylor goalie Stephanie Dempsey.

KU added another score with 12:04 left before the half on a pretty goal by Rachel Gilfillan.

Gilfillan took the ball nearly half the field, juking out two defenders before beating Dempsey with a shot to the left corner.

"In the first half, to be honest with you, I didn't feel that we played that well," Francis said. "But we finished the two chances we had."

Kansas shook off any lackadaisical play from the first half by controlling the second nearly from start to finish.

KU, which outshot Baylor 14-7 Sunday, rarely let a Bear get deep in its territory and BU only had a few viable scoring chances.

"I knew if we played well, we'd beat them," Francis said. "We created a lot more chances for ourselves in the second half."

Gilfillan added an insurance goal when she took a pass from freshman Amy Geha and outran Dempsey to the ball and tapped it in with 25 minutes left.

Francis said that the newcomers have exceeded his expectations.

"Those guys have really stepped it up this year," he said. "They really have been outstanding."

Gilfillan said they expect to play well.

"This is really awesome," she said. "This is what I imagined when I signed to play here. It's everything I hoped it would be."

Maybe more.

KU has two more games left this season. If it can beat Missouri in its last regular season game Friday at home, the Jayhawks will finish fourth in the conference four places higher than last year.

"Today was a good victory and it put us in a good spot for this last week," Hoogveld said.

Before meeting the Tigers, KU will take on Saint Louis in a nonconference game at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at SuperTarget Field.

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