Soccer picks up pair of Ws

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Sophomore defender Holly Gault scored on a diving header in the 102nd minute to lift the No. 8 University of Kansas soccer to a 1-0 double overtime win over Auburn.

With the win, the Jayhawks improve to 8-1 this season.

The Jayhawks applied pressure in the game's opening period, holding a 7-2 advantage in shots, but were unable to slip any thing past Tiger goalkeeper Megan Rivera, who made nine saves in the contest.

"I thought we played pretty well, especially in the first half," said head coach Mark Francis. "We were able to create a lot of offensive opportunities, but we were not able to convert on them. In the second half, we were not able to hold possession of the ball as well as we would have liked, but we were able to get some chances. We need to do a better job of finishing our chances on offense."

In net for the Jayhawks, senior Meghan Miller tied a career-high with nine saves, including five in the second period. The Seattle, Wash., native recorded her seventh shutout of the season and her school-record 26th overall in her KU career. Miller has allowed just two goals this season in 822:34 minutes in net.

After neither team could score in regulation time or in the first overtime, it took only 2:34 into the second overtime for Gault to put an end to the match with her second goal of the season. Off a cross from senior forward Monica Brothers, Gault was able to connect on a diving header to knock the ball past Rivera for the game-winning tally.

"Our fitness was a factor toward the end of the game," said Francis. "You could tell that we were more fit than they were. So that was definitely a positive that I saw. Any time you can go on the road and beat a good team it is a great win."

The Jayhawks' 8-1 record this season ties a school-record with the 2003 team for the best overall mark heading into conference play.

"This was our first overtime match of the season and to be able to win the game in that fashion was definitely big," Francis said. "This is a big win for us heading into next weekend."

The Jayhawks begin league play next weekend as they welcome Big 12 north rival Nebraska to the Jayhawk Soccer Complex at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24. On Sunday, the defending Big 12 Champion Colorado Buffaloes are in Lawrence to face KU at 1 p.m.

After their first loss last week, the Jayhawk rebounded to defeat Mississippi on Friday at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

Junior forward Caroline Smith collected a goal and an assist to help lead No. 8 Kansas soccer back into the win column, as the Jayhawks (7-1) defeated the Rebels 2-0.

Kansas dominated the first half of play, controlling the ball in the offensive zone and outshooting the Rebels 10-1 in the period. The offensive pressure finally payed off as the Jayhawks got on the board in the game's 25th minute, when senior Rachel Gilfillan beat Ole Miss goalkeeper Ann Shelton for her third goal of the season. Kansas had several other chances in Mississippi's end but was unable capitalize and took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

In the second half, both teams traded offensive chances, but it was KU who was finally able to convert and take a commanding late 2-0 lead. At the 82:40 mark of the second half, Smith took feed from Amy Geha and broke in on the goalkeeper to tally her third goal of the season.

Senior goalkeeper Meghan Miller saw only five Ole Miss shots in the match and was forced to make only one save on the way to collecting her sixth shutout of the season.


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