LAWRENCE — The Kansas Jayhawks fell 2-0 to the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in Thursday’s Big 12 opener at Rock Chalk Park. Kansas held a 23-7 advantage on shots in the match.
“I told the kids that you have to come away from that going we were the better team on the day,” Head Coach Mark Francis said. “The own goal was a fluke. The first goal we made a mistake on and they punished us for it. In the Big 12 that is what is going to happen. I was proud of how we played. That was one of the better games of soccer for the 90 minutes that we played all season. I thought we competed and battled really hard…we have to recognize that we played really well and be confident that we can play at that level and show up and do that again on Sunday.”
Kansas controlled the possession and tempo for much of the night. In the first half, the Jayhawks jumped out to a 5-0 advantage on shots, but they were unable to get anything past Oklahoma State’s goalkeeper Jordan Nytes.
Oklahoma State would capitalize on an opportunity of their own in the 35th minute. Blythe Beldner sent a cross into the box, which Chloe Wright was able to get her foot on and put into the back of the net. OSU led 1-0 at the half.
In the 55th minute, Oklahoma State had a breakaway opportunity, but Kansas’ Melania Pasar made a great save to keep the score at 1-0. The game would remain there until an own goal by KU made the score 2-0 in the 77th minute.
Oklahoma State’s goalkeeper Jordan Nytes made 12 saves on the night, including 10 saves in the second half.
“You look at the shots and it was 23-7,” Francis said. “It’s not just shots, but we had some really good looks. You have to give their goalkeeper credit, she played out of her skin. She was very, very good tonight. She made a couple of very good saves that denied us opportunities.”
Rylan Childers, Kate Dreyer, Maree Shinkle and Lexi Watts all had three shots on the night. KU finished the match with a 12-3 edge for shots on goal.
The Jayhawks drop to 7-4 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play, while the Cowgirls improve to 8-1-1 and 1-0 in the conference.
Kansas (7-4, 0-1 Big 12) will host No. 12 TCU on Sunday afternoon at Rock Chalk Park. The match will kickoff at 3 p.m. CT and be broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and the Jayhawk Sports Network. Katie McClure will be honored prior to the start of the game.