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Photo Gallery: Jayhawks take down Kansas State in season finale

3 min read
The Kansas soccer team celebrates Monday's game-winning goal by freshman Jocelyn Herrema, which gave the Jayhawks a 2-1 victory over Sunflower State rival Kansas State. [Chance Parker photo]

A tough season full of close calls and competitive games ended on a high note on Sunday, when the Kansas Jayhawks knocked off Sunflower State rival Kansas State 2-1 at Rock Chalk Park in the season finale for both teams.

The win was the Jayhawks' fourth of the season — and first since Aug. 31 — and settled KU's 2023 record at 4-8-6 overall and 1-7-2 in Big 12 play. K-State, meanwhile, dropped to 3-12-3 overall and 1-8-1 in the conference.

Junior Raena Childers (#7) picked up KU's first goal on Monday night (her third of the season) to give the Jayhawks a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute of action. Freshman Jocelyn Herrema (#23) scored the game-winner — the first goal of the season for the rookie from Caledonia, Michigan — in the 76th minute to give the Jayhawks the win.

KU's final record is a little deceiving. Despite watching the losses mount throughout Big 12 play, the Jayhawks rarely found themselves completely overmatched.

While 14 of the Jayhawks' 18 games this season were losses or ties, the average score in those 14 games was 1.1 to 0.5 in favor of KU's opponents, who scored 16 goals in those 14 games compared to just seven for the Jayhawks.

Mark Francis' team was on the wrong end of a shutout nine times this season (7 losses and 2 ties) but KU only lost by more than one goal one time — a 2-0 loss to Houston on Oct. 8.

“I was just really happy for the group with the way they were so resilient this year,” Francis said after the Jayhawks' season finale. “Regardless of the result, the next game they came out and competed. We were in every game we played in this year. I’m super proud of the resilience of the group and the way they were able to bounce back game after game.”

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