Archive for Saturday, September 1, 2001

KU soccer opens with 4-2 victory

Jayhawks rally past North Texas

September 1, 2001


It was a diverse combination: two comebacks, seniors stepping up despite minor injuries and some timely goals by freshman.

But it all resulted in a 4-2 season-opening victory for Kansas University's soccer team over North Texas on Friday afternoon at SuperTarget Field.

"Overall, we're pretty happy," KU coach Mark Francis said. "Over a 90-minute period, we played well.

"I think the biggest positive for me was the character that we showed when we went behind and then came back, then went behind again and came back again. Psychologically, that's tough."

While the Jayhawks seemed the superior team offensively in the first half, the Eagles jumped out with the lead.

Last year's Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, Marilyn Marin, poked in a goal in the game's fifth minute past Jayhawks goalie Sarah Gonzalez.

KU tied it with 16:19 remaining in the half when freshman Monica Brothers tapped in a goal that had deflected off the goal post from a Natalie Hoogveld shot.

"That was Hoog's (Hoogveld) goal. I just got the stat," said Brothers, a freshman from Leavenworth who had three goals in KU's two exhibition games.

The lead was short-lived, as North Texas again went ahead when forward Melinda Pina kicked in a ball that bounced out of Gonzalez' grasp.

But that would be the end of the Lady Eagles' offense as KU dominated the second half and outshot UNT 19-3 for the game.

Hoogveld, who along with senior Hilla Rantala sustained minor leg injuries early in the second half, began the Jayhawks' second comeback by blasting a 10-yard shot off of a Melanie Schroeder pass in the 62nd minute.

Then came a freshman-to-freshman connection in the 73rd minute, when Overland Park Aquinas graduate Amy Geha, who scored two goals in two exhibition games, chipped in a shot off a Brothers pass.

Junior transfer Brooke Jones, who's from Overland Park but played the last two seasons at Nebraska, added a goal with five minutes remaining for the 4-2 advantage.

Freshman Meghan Miller started the second half in goal and picked up her first win, thanks in part to a relentless KU defense that rarely allowed North Texas past midfield in the second half.

"It's a good win," Francis said, "but realistically we could have had eight or nine goals off the opportunities we had. In a close game we'll have to take advantage of those opportunities."

Hoogveld was quick to praise the solid play of the freshmen, but Francis said it was the senior leadership that helped the Jayhawks rally Friday.

"Our freshmen are very good players, that's obvious," said the third-year coach. "Our returning players are providing leadership that we didn't really have last season. They're providing that for the younger players."

The Jayhawks, who have never had a winning season and were 7-11-2 last year, look to run their record to 2-0 Sunday when they play Illinois at 11:30 a.m. at SuperTarget Field.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.