KU Soccer: How Sweet It Is

Columbia, Mo. – The Kansas soccer team had a long drive home Sunday evening following its NCAA Tournament second-round game against Missouri, but for the Jayhawks the drive was pleasantly upbeat. It was the Tigers whose short walk back to the MU campus dorms was somber.

That’s because No. 16 Kansas – the 13th overall seed in the tournament – advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history by ending Missouri’s season 2-0 at the Audrey J. Walton Soccer Complex.

Sophomore goal-scoring sensation Caroline Smith – a national player of the year finalist – provided the game-winner in the 78th minute, while senior Carmel Kaplinger iced the victory with an insurance goal in the 89th minute.

Junior All-Big 12 goalkeeper Meghan Miller notched her 11th shutout of the season in a gutsy performance in which she got kicked in the eye and the knee but remained in the game despite the injuries.

About 300 noisy Kansas fans made the trek to Columbia, Mo., for the game and gave a rousing ovation as the Jayhawks shouted the “Rock Chalk” chant at midfield following the game.

Kansas (18-5-1) next plays the No. 4-seed UCLA (18-1-3) this weekend in Los Angeles. The Jayhawks played three of the teams in the Sweet 16 qualifiers during the regular season. They beat 11th-seed Florida State 3-1, beat Michigan 2-1, and tied Texas A&M 1-1.

RECORDS CONTINUE TO FALL:

  • Sophomore Caroline Smith’s game-winning goal was her school-record 19th score of the season. It was also her school-record 31st career goal.
  • With her game-winning goal on Friday, junior Rachel Gilfillan tied for second in career goals with 18. Her assist on Smith’s goal Sunday tied her for fourth in career assists at KU (12).
  • With four shots apiece Sunday, Smith and Gilfillan ascended to No. 1 and No. 2 in career shots at Kansas.
  • Junior goalkeeper Meghan Miller notched her school record 11th shutout of the season Sunday, as well as her career-record 19th.
  • This weekend’s Sweet 16 match against UCLA will move senior Maggie Mason into a tie for most games played in a career at KU (77).
  • The Jayhawks’ 18 wins this season are the most in program history. The previous best was 13 in 2001.
    Kansas has scored the most goals (45) in school history this season and notched the third most assists ever (35).

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