Archive for Sunday, August 22, 2004

Jayhawks crush Creighton

August 22, 2004

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It came as little surprise when Kansas University's first soccer goal of the season was scored by a player named Smith.

It was a bit shocking, however, that junior All-America forward Caroline Smith -- who tallied 19 goals in 2003 -- wasn't the first to find net.

Jessica Smith, a junior forward from Wichita, scored the first goal and later added another in KU's 6-1 exhibition shellacking of Creighton on Saturday afternoon at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

Caroline Smith, of Edina, Minn., added a goal for Kansas, as did sophomores Holly Gault, Lacey Novak and senior Rachel Gilfillan on a day where the Jayhawks led 5-0 at halftime and dominated from start to finish.

"We finished very well today, and I was fortunate enough to get two of those," Jessica Smith said, "but I'm just trying to come out here and play good soccer with my teammates."

Few could argue that the Jayhawks didn't play good soccer. They dominated Creighton in every facet of the game. They outshot the Bluejays 15-6 and had a 5-1 edge on corner kicks. Six offsides penalties on KU simply put a brighter spotlight on its aggressiveness on offense.

As efficient as Kansas' offense was, the defense was equally stellar. Two of KU's goals were the direct result of steals near the Creighton goal box, and the Bluejays only sniffed the Kansas goal twice in the first half.

KU coach Mark Francis said he was satisfied with his squad's overall effort.

"I thought there were some glimpses of some really good things," he said. "I thought our finishing was good. If you score six goals in any game, it's good, and also we had a lot of different people score, so that's always a plus."

The Jayhawks open the regular season at 9 p.m. Saturday in Las Vegas at UNLV.

"It's a good building block for us," Gault said of the victory. "We had some spurts at the end of the game where it was kind of sloppy, but we saw some really good soccer. It's just a great game to start off with."



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New faces: Two of KU's seven newcomers were in the starting lineup. West Virginia transfer Nicole Cauzillo started at midfield, while freshman Afton Sauer received the nod on defense.

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Rasmussen still out: Midfielder Michelle Rasmussen was the only Jayhawk who didn't play against Creighton. The Vermillion, S.D., sophomore started nine of 15 games in 2003 before breaking her leg and is on the upswing of her recovery.

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Large crowd: The announced attendance of 628 fans Saturday was the largest exhibition crowd in KU soccer history. Had it been a regular-season game, the crowd would've ranked fifth all-time.

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