Kansas soccer picked up a 2-0 win against in-state rival Kansas State Saturday night in Manhattan. The Jayhawks scored two second-half goals in the Sunflower Showdown, but the win will not count towards conference standings.
The first half was a scoreless, back-and-forth scrum, with both teams vying for possession and legitimate scoring opportunities.
Through the first five minutes, both teams saw good spells of possession, but neither found a great scoring opportunity.
Through the next few minutes, the Jayhawks started to dominate possession with the Wildcats not applying pressure to Kansas' backline.
K-State eventually found two good opportunities, the first coming off of a corner that was eventually cleared, and then a long-range shot that forced junior goalkeeper Sarah Peters into a save.
Although opportunities were few and far between, the Jayhawks nearly had the opening goal off of a deflection, but it was saved. Not long after, Kansas found yet another good opportunity with a cross into the box, but junior forward Kailey Lane couldn’t finish a tough shot.
Neither team was able to find any viable scoring opportunities through the majority of the first half -- but the Jayhawks had a golden opportunity with just a little under two and a half minutes left -- as freshman midfielder Avery Smith sent a header wide of the net.
“Credit to K-State, I thought they did a really good job of pressing us and forced us to give away some bad balls,” Kansas soccer coach Mark Francis said. “We talked about if they’re pressing us, let’s look to stretch them a little bit and put the ball in behind them.”
The second half saw the Jayhawks earn an early corner, but again Kansas was unable to find a shot on target. Kansas dominated possession early in the second and found another scoring opportunity that went wide off the foot of Lane.
Not long after the opportunity, the Wildcats found their own spell of possession and started to find their own opportunities, but none were good enough to threaten a score.
K-State found a counter-attack that saw a goal-saving deflection from freshman defender Mackenzie Boeve, but the Wildcats were putting on continuous pressure.
Even though K-State had control of the majority of possession, the Jayhawks finally opened the scoring with 22 minutes left after a cross into the box by Lane was finished by junior midfielder Ryan Childers to put Kansas up 1-0.
The Wildcats continued to control possession, but nine minutes later, the Jayhawks doubled their lead when a cross from junior midfielder Samantha Barnett was headed home by freshman forward Shira Elinav to put Kansas up 2-0.
“Our tempo was better in the second half,” Francis said. “In the first half, we played a little bit too slow.”
The Wildcats couldn’t find their way back as the Jayhawks closed out the match. Kansas finished with four shots on goal while Peters notched the shutout.
The two foes will meet again next Saturday, March 13, at Rock Chalk Park. Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m.