No. 10 Kansas soccer took care of business at Rock Chalk Park Friday night in a 1-0 victory over the No. 8 Oklahoma State Cowgirls.
Although Kansas junior defender Grace Wiltgen did not score a goal in Friday’s match, she was a huge part of why the Jayhawks came away with the victory.
In the 26th minute, Wiltgen came to the rescue — knocking the ball free from Oklahoma State senior forward Gabriella Coleman who had her sights set on a goal.
Later in the first half, Wiltgen was in the Cowgirls' defensive third. Wiltgen then forced a penalty kick after her shot attempt rolled off the arm of an Oklahoma State defender, resulting in a handball in the box.
Kansas coach Mark Francis was happy with the attack and said he appreciated the aggressive play from the Jayhawks.
“It was a really good build up,” Francis said. “We switched it to [Wiltgen] and she just took off and attacked them. But it's because of our mentality to go at the kid that caused the whole thing. It was a great play by Wilt.”
Senior midfielder Ceri Holland handled the pressure with ease, knocking in the penalty kick to put the Jayhawks up 1-0 in the 41st minute. Holland now has two goals on the season, her first since Kansas’ 1-0 win over Texas to open the season on Sept. 11.
Holland said taking penalty kicks is something she practices a lot, so the goal did not come as a surprise.
Outside of the lone first half goal by Kansas, neither team's goalkeeper were tested much in the first 45 minutes.
After a near goal in the 48th minute from Oklahoma State senior midfielder Kim Rodriguez, the Cowgirls' defense fell apart quickly as their energy slowly diminished. The Jayhawks kept attacking and had two near goals to open up the second half.
Sophomore defender Ellie Prybylski and junior midfielder Sam Barnett both had close calls as their shot attempts both knocked off the Cowgirls' goal posts.
Junior goalkeeper Sarah Peters had a rough outing last week, giving up two goals to Baylor. But on Friday, Peters redeemed herself after posting a shutout performance against Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State was unable to score the equalizing goal, dropping their second match of the season and falling to 3-2-1 on the season.
Kansas moves to 4-1-0 and will host TCU next Thursday. Match time is set for 7 p.m.