KU soccer takes first home loss to No. 21 Texas

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World photo

Kansas freshman Caroline Castans passes the ball against Vanderbilt during the home opener at Rock Chalk Park on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023.

Freshman Caroline Castans scored her first collegiate goal in the 86th minute on a rebound off a free kick, but Kansas couldn’t muster another shot in the final moments and fell 2-1 to No. 21 Texas at Rock Chalk Park on Sunday.

Both teams struggled to put shots on target in the first half, but the Longhorns’ Trinity Byars seized on an errant pass from KU goalkeeper Melania Pasar to put Texas up 1-0 soon after the break. Byars doubled that lead in the 77th minute after an incisive string of passes from teammates Lexi Missimo and Liz Worden.

Pasar and Texas keeper Mia Justus combined for just three saves on the afternoon, with Justus denying Maree Shinkle early on a pass from Lexi Watts. Shinkle and Watts nearly equalized between Texas goals, but Watts redirected Shinkle’s one-touch pass just wide of the right post from close range.

Texas’ Jilly Shimkin led all players with three total shots in the game.

“I thought we played really well,” KU coach Mark Francis said in a press release. “Defensively our game plan worked and we made it difficult for them. We have to keep working and defending the way we are, making it difficult for the opponent. We had several opportunities on the counterattack today and we have to be a little more efficient on the other end.”

The Jayhawks dropped below .500 at 3-4-6 (0-3-2 Big 12 Conference) with their first home loss of the year. They will go back on the road for one match to face TCU Thursday.


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