Archive for Friday, October 25, 2002

Smiths scoring machines for Kansas soccer

October 25, 2002


They share the same bathroom, the same last name and, luckily for Kansas soccer fans, the same knack for scoring lots of goals.

And they're just freshmen.


"It's pretty cool that we both have the same name and both happen to be goal-scorers," said Caroline Smith, who in her first year as a Jayhawk broke KU's single-season scoring record with 11 goals.

Jessica Smith's not too shabby, either.

The freshman from Wichita, Kansas' all-time prep scorer while at Southeast High, ranks second on the team with six goals.

"Anybody that comes in and is good enough is going to play," KU coach Mark Francis said of his young duo, who have accounted for 45 percent of the Jayhawks' scoring. "I knew they both would be very successful. I just didn't know how long it would take them to adjust to the Division I level."

It didn't take long for Caroline.

She scored in her first game and didn't stop until two weeks ago against Oklahoma, when she tore the medial collateral ligament in her right knee.

While Caroline's injury was a huge loss for the Jayhawk offense, it also contributed to the emergence of Jessica, who has scored all of her goals in the last five games.

"I told Jessica at the beginning of the year when she wasn't scoring that, 'Once you get your first one, you're going to keep scoring,'" Caroline said.

Has she ever.

Jessica, whom her teammates call "Wichita" because she's the only one on the team from that part of the Sunflower State, scored the game-winner on KU's Senior Day on Sunday against Iowa State, before leaving that game with 10 minutes remaining. She left favoring her right knee in a scene eerily similar to that of Caroline's departure.

While Jessica sprained her MCL, it's a minor injury that won't keep her out of today's 7 p.m. contest at Texas.

"It took me awhile to get used to things," said Jessica, who lives in adjoining suites with Caroline and shares the same bathroom. "I think part of it was mental. But my mentality when I came in here was that I wasn't going to be the best player."

The Jayhawks (11-3-2) will take on No. 3-ranked Texas today, then travel to No. 6 Texas A&M; on Sunday.

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