Soccer vs FAU

Sophomore defender Grace Wiltgen gets the ball under control when playing against Florida Atlantic University. The Jayhawks defeated the Owls 1-0 Sunday, Sept. 1.

Following a dominant 4-0 start to the season, Kansas soccer was brought back down to earth on Friday as it fell to unranked DePaul by a score of 1-0 in its first match of the Boilermaker Challenge Cup. 

The Blue Demons struck first with their only shot on goal against the Kansas defense, which conceded the lone goal of the match just 30 seconds into the second half. The goal, scored by DePaul forward Jade Eriksen-Russo, came at the hands of a sloppy turnover by the Jayhawks in DePaul’s attacking third. 

“As bad as the goal was that we gave up, we still had ample opportunities to bring it back,” coach Mark Francis said following the match. “I think our decision-making today in general was pretty poor.”

The Kansas attack pressured the DePaul defense all afternoon with 20 total shots, but just three of those shots met the target. Senior forward Katie McClure managed four shots on the day but was otherwise stymied by the Blue Demons’ back line. 

Francis also went on to lament the missed scoring chances the Jayhawks created throughout the match.

“The reality is we had probably six quality chances to win the game, and we didn’t finish any of them,” Francis said. 

Another eye-popping statistic for the Jayhawks was the nine corner kicks they won throughout the match, none of which were successful for the No. 11-ranked team in the nation. Kansas was simply unable to put away any quality chances throughout the match that would have put the team in a winning position. To add insult to injury for the Kansas attack, all three shots on target for the Jayhawks were saved by DePaul goalkeeper Mollie Eriksson. 

In the final 15 minutes of play, Kansas fired off seven shots and won five corner kicks, but none of these chances resulted in a KU goal. 

Despite facing an inferior opponent on paper, Kansas was unable to find its rhythm offensively and ultimately suffered the consequences of an untimely defensive mishap.

The Jayhawks will look to bounce back as they face Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Sunday. Kickoff has been scheduled for 1 p.m.