Late Goal Lifts Jayhawks Over Wacker Innsbruck, 1-0
March 19, 2013
INNSBRUCK, Austria - Senior Nicole Chrisopulos' goal in the 82nd minute propelled the KU soccer team to a 1-0 victory over FC Wacker Innsbruck Tuesday night. The win pushed the Jayhawks to a 2-0 start in their European tour, which will continue tomorrow evening in Luzern, Switzerland.
"Tonight was really encouraging," said head coach Mark Francis. "We really deserved to win just by the amount of chances we created. We moved the ball around really well and had some different girls step up. The Innsbruck team was really good but I thought we handled them well."
Kansas, who was playing the second of four international matches as part of their 10-day tour through Europe, was going up against the second-ranked team from Austria in FC Wacker Innsbruck. A day after taking down SpVgg Kaufbeuren in Germany 8-1, Kansas was sure to be in for a challenge going against the talented and seasoned club out of Innsbruck.
The two teams played fairly even in the opening 45 minutes, playing to a 0-0 tie as they headed into the lockerrooms. The Jayhawks had several chances in the first frame, a key moment coming when freshman Ashley Williams had two looks at goal seconds apart in the 18th minute, but was unable to get it passed the stingy Innsbruck defense.
The Jayhawks ended the half with a 7-3 shot discrepancy over the home team, including three shots on goal.
It was more of the same in the second period as the Jayhawks continued to miss out and some key chances. Junior Caroline Kastor beat the Innsbruck back line on several occasions including a play in the 52nd minute when she had near unchallenged run into the box and beat the Austrian goalkeeper, however her shot sailed just wide of the right goal post, leaving the score deadlocked.
The Austrians put the pressure on KU minutes later with several close calls. Nineteen minutes into the second, Wacker's Nicole Billa put a strong strike toward the Jayhawk net, however junior keeper Kaitlyn Stroud was there for one of her four saves, preserving the shutout.
KU's luck changed in the 82nd minute when, off a Haley Yearout corner kick, Chrisopulos flicked in a right-footed shot from five yards out. The goal was Chrisopulos' first of the spring exhibition season and gave the Jayhawks a lead they would not relinquish.
Kansas will play its third game in as many days when they take on the U23 Swiss National Team in Luzern, Switzerland on Wednesday, March 20. The teams will hit the pitch at 6 p.m. (noon CT). Get a complete recap of the match by logging on to KUAthletics.com and following on twitter at @KU_Track.
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