Vegas Tourney Closes out Soccer's Five-Match Road Stretch
Sept. 9, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. -
The five-match road stretch that began in Athens, Ga., two weeks ago, will come to an end Sunday, in Las Vegas, Nev. Kansas soccer will play two in Vegas this weekend as part of UNLV’s Rebel Classic. First up for KU will be Cal State Northridge, Friday afternoon at UNLV’s Peter Johan Memorial Field, followed by Oregon Sunday morning.
In the second week of the season, KU once again split its pair of weekend contests. The Jayhawks opened the weekend by knocking off nationally-ranked Northwestern 2-1, in Evanston, Ill. But KU came out on the wrong end of that score two days later in Normal, Ill., falling to Illinois State.
Scouting the Matadors
While Cal State Northridge comes into Friday’s contest carrying a 2-3 record, the Matadors’ schedule has been anything but light. The Matadors have faced top-ranked opponents like Portland and UCLA and held their own. Against the then No. 5-ranked Pilots, CSUN was barely edged 2-1 at home in the first weekend of the season. Farryn Townley leads the Matadors with three goals and 11 shots but Desiree Cardenas, a senior midfielder, has been the most accurate with four of her six shots on target. Townley nearly provided the Matadors with heroics against the Pilots when her header late in the second half hit narrowly missed the inside of the net, allowing Portland’s 2-1 lead to hold. Northridge has lost its only two road matches.
Scouting the Ducks
The Ducks have yet to venture outside of the confines of Eugene, Ore., this season. Oregon has gone 2-1-2 playing all five games at Papé Field. The Ducks had two convincing wins over Boise State and UC Davis, but fell to No. 21 Oklahoma State 1-0 in double overtime and couldn’t find the back of the net against SMU — despite out-shooting the Mustangs 22-3 — playing to a scoreless draw. Lindsay Parlee and Cody Miles have split time in goal and have allowed just a combined three goals for a goals against average mark of 0.45. But while Oregon’s defense has been solid, the offense has scored just six goals in 86 shots. Jenn Stoltenberg is Oregon's sharp shooter, with three goals to her credit so far this season. Stoltenberg leads the team in goals, assists (two) and points (8) and has taken 40 shots in five games with 14 on-goal.
After racking up a career-high 15 saves against Georgia on Aug. 29, redshirt sophomore Kat Liebetrau has continued her stellar work between the pipes. Liebetrau’s 23 saves are currently the second-most in the Big 12. Liebetrau is averaging 5.75 saves per game, which is also good enough for second in the conference. Her .742 save mark is ranked seventh. Liebetrau has started all four games for Kansas and has yet to yield to a backup.
On the Radar
Berry was recently named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s list of the top 20 players in the Big 12. The All-Big 12 selection was named the 15th-best player to watch this season in the conference. The Wichita native had a strong freshman campaign scoring six goals and assisting in nine. Berry was third on the team with 21 points.
KU Picked Eighth
The Jayhawks were picked to finish in eighth place in the Big 12 in the preseason coaches’ poll. Texas A&M was picked as the preseason favorite, receiving 95 points and eight first-place votes. Last season, the Jayhawks went 12-8-2 overall and 4-6 in Big 12 play to tie for seventh. Oklahoma State, the defending conference champs, was picked to finish fourth.