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Sunday, October 9, 2016

KU soccer ‘disappointed’ with 1-1 draw

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The Kansas soccer team learned the hard way Sunday afternoon that it can’t come out sluggish in the first half and expect to win in the Big 12.

“I’m pretty disappointed with this result, to be honest,” KU coach Mark Francis said after his team’s 1-1 draw in double overtime with Oklahoma State at Rock Chalk Park.

The Jayhawks (8-4-3) were playing from behind almost immediately against the Cowgirls.

In the 5th minute, Oklahoma State senior Courtney Dike netted her conference-leading eighth goal of the year to give OSU an early 1-0 advantage. It marked just the second time that Kansas had surrendered a goal to its opponent within the first 10 minutes of action.

“We were useless in the first half, really good in the second half,” Francis said. “We came out and we just weren’t good enough. That’s as poorly as we have played for 45 minutes all season.”

For much of the first half the Cowgirls (7-5-3, 2-2-1 in Big 12) stayed on the attack and controlled possession.

In fact, the Jayhawks took just five shots over the first 45 minutes of action. Both Katie McClure and Aurelie Gagnet had a pair of good looks at the net only to be deflected by Oklahoma State’s goalkeeper Michela Ongaro.

“Going into the weekend we knew this was the game that meant most to us,” sophomore Grace Hagan said. “This is the one we needed to put away. So it’s a little tough to go down with a tie.”

A switch was flipped during intermission, as Kansas came out the aggressor in the second half.

Within five minutes, McClure appeared to break free and delivered a shot from about 10 yards out that banged off the right post. Hagan grabbed the rebound and found the back of the net for her sixth goal of the season.

“That’s something that should happen every time,” Hagan said. “Katie had a great shot and I was able to rebound. I was ready to celebrate for hers and then the ball bounced.”

For the remainder of the contest, the Jayhawks stayed on the offensive and outshot the Cowgirls, 17-6, in the second half and overtimes. For the game, Kansas held a 22-11 advantage on shots.

After coughing up an early goal, KU goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns notched four saves.

“To come back and tie to up and dominate the second half was good,” Francis said. “I was really happy with how we played in the second half.”

Still, the early blunder loomed large as the Jayhawks fell to 3-1-1 in Big 12 play after a match that featured 43 fouls between the two teams.

Kansas, which lost 1-0 against West Virginia on Friday, will have 12 days to stew over this past weekend before traveling to Oklahoma on Oct. 21.

“We have to learn something from this week,” Francis said. “We don’t play next weekend so we got time to heal up and tend to some things we have to get better at which we will do this week.”

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