Kansas University's soccer players said their 1-0 loss Tuesday at No. 11 Illinois was the result of a major lack of focus.
Just three days after earning the biggest win in program history, a 3-1 shelling of then-No. 7 Clemson, the eighth-ranked Jayhawks (6-1) were lackadaisical during warmups and never found their rhythm against the Illini.
Sixth-year Kansas coach Mark Francis said his squad learned its lesson, though, and he doesn't expect focus to be a problem when the Jayhawks play Mississippi at 5 p.m. today at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.
"I don't know if there's such thing as a good loss," Francis said, "but it gave us a little bit of a wake-up call, so in terms of that it refocused us a little bit and let us know that we have to show up for every game and we have to be focused. Everybody we play is going to show up and bring their A game, so we have to make sure we bring ours."
Kansas will need to be in top form to beat Mississippi (4-2), which owns a 3-2 edge against the Jayhawks in the all-time series. The Rebels have a lethal forward in sophomore Brittney Potts, who has six goals and 14 points this season. Goalkeeper Ann Shelton is a force between the posts, having allowed only three goals.
"They've got people that are dangerous," Francis said. "They're very athletic all over the field."
The sting of that first loss still was eating at the Jayhawks, senior defender Stacy Leeper said.
"We don't like losing very much," she said. "It gave us a kick in the pants we needed to get us going. We're fired up, ready for some revenge."