Women's soccer: Kansas notches two second half goals to hand Texas first loss of the season
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Jayhawk senior Kayla Morrison shot in the go-ahead goal with six minutes remaining in regulation to complete the KU comeback and lift her team to a 2-1 win over No. 9 Texas Friday night at Rock Chalk Park. The Kansas victory marked its second over a top-10 this year and ended the Longhorns' unbeaten season as UT suffered its first loss of 2017.
"I'm just proud of the kids today," said head coach Mark Francis. "This group is very resilient. It doesn't matter what the score is, they just keep fighting. The second half, we were tremendous. I had absolutely no doubt that we were going to win it based on the way the kids were playing. It was just a good result and I'm happy for the players today because we have had a little bit of bad luck the last couple of times, in the last couple of games."
KU moved to 7-6-2 in its 2017 campaign with a 2-2-1 record in Big 12 play. Texas suffered its first loss of the season, now sitting at 11-1-2 and 3-1-2 in the conference race.
For the second time in three outings, the Jayhawks found themselves in a 1-0 deficit coming out of the halftime locker room. And for the second time, KU mounted a comeback that produced in a winning result.
The spark came in the form of a forward-to-forward connection from Grace Hagan to Lois Heuchanjust 12 minutes into the second frame. Hagan sent a low cross to the center of the Texas penalty box where Heuchan redirected into the back of the net. The goal, Heuchan's second of the year pulled the score level at 1-1, still with more than 30 minutes to play.
KU continued to attack the visitors over the remainder of the match, outshooting the Longhorns by a tally of 9-2 over the final half-hour. Though the Jayhawks come inches close to netting the go ahead goal on several occasions in that span, it wasn't until a scrum inside the UT six-yard box that Kansas finally saw its opening.
With just over six minutes remaining in regulation, sophomore Katie McClure curled in a corner kick that was brought down in the mouth of the Longhorn frame. After several failed attempts to clear the ball, Morrison managed to get a foot on and poke it through for her second goal of the year.
Morrison's strike was the game-winner as the Jayhawks held off the Longhorns over the remaining minutes to complete the upset.
KU ended the match outshooting UT by a tally of 22-9, which included a 15-3 advantage in the second half. Heuchan and McClure led all players with five shots a piece, while four other Jayhawks mounted multiple attempts in the game.
Senior goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns earned the victory between the posts with three saves to her credit and eight Texas corner kicks defended.
With the win, Kansas has now defeated two top-10 teams in 2017 (2-1 over No. 7 USC on Sept. 3 and 2-1 over No. 9 Texas), the second time in program history the Jayhawks have downed multiple top-10 squads in a single season.
"Today I think we deserved the win," Francis concluded. "So, hopefully, this will give us some confidence moving forward. We've got Baylor next, another really good team."