Three Jayhawks earn All Big 12 Honors

For the first time in school history, the Kansas soccer had representatives on the All-Big 12 First Team.

In fact, the No. 21-ranked Jayhawks actually had two players on the first team, and added another on the second team. Sophomore forward Caroline Smith and junior goalkeeper Meghan Miller earned first-team honors, while freshman defender Holly Gault made the all-conference second-team and the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.

"We've never had anybody make the first team in the conference, and this year we have two girls in there," said fifth-year coach Mark Francis. "And we've never had three players make the whole thing, so this is the most we've ever had."

"I think that's just a reflection on the quality of players that we have and how well the team has done this year. I think that those three girls definitely deserve the honor and I think they'd be the first ones to admit that it's a reflection of the whole program."

The announcement comes in the wake of the Jayhawks (15-4-1 overall, 6-3-1 Big 12 Conference) finishing third in the conference - their best finish ever - and just two days before they open up play in the Big 12 Conference Tournament at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio.

Kansas will play Oklahoma at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in their quarterfinal match-up. A victory would pin the Jayhawks in the semifinals Friday against the winner of Oklahoma State and Texas.

Following the Big 12 Tournament will be the Jayhawks second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, and first since 2001. Francis and his players haven't called themselves locks for the tournament, but their bid should be guaranteed following a third-place finish in a conference that had seven different teams crack the Top 25 this year. Currently, four Big 12 schools are in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll: No. 5 Colorado, No. 12 Texas, No. 14 Texas A&M and No. 21 Kansas. Nebraska fell out of the polls this week. Top Stories