Women’s soccer clinches win in OT

The Bulldogs celebrate after sealing their overtime win against St. Louis. The win has helped turn a four-game losing streak into a two-game winning streak. (Photo by Rachel Senn)

The Butler women’s soccer team heads west this weekend after a week of competition at home.

They will be looking to extend their two-game winning streak that began against Miami (Ohio) earlier this month and continued last Friday against the St. Louis Billikens.

Butler (2-4) captured their second consecutive victory in an overtime win versus the visiting Billikens.

Sophomore Katie Griswold, who recorded a “hat trick” Sept. 3 against Miami, again led the offense of the Bulldogs.

With about three minutes remaining in the first overtime period, Griswold took a pass from sophomore Rachael Melendez and scored the game’s lone goal to secure the win for Butler.

The game’s large amount of physical play was just one factor that the Bulldogs had to deal with Friday.

Bulldog head coach Tari St. John said that her squad did not mind the physicality of the game.

“I think we embraced it,” she said. “We just said, ‘If this is the way the game is going to be called, we will step up and play that way. We’ll push the limits.’”

The inabiility of freshman Jackie Hafele, who has started three games for the Bulldogs, to take the field was compounded by a Bulldog injury during the game.

Butler freshman midfielder Nikki Hafele dribbles around SLU sophomore defender Emily Viviano at the Butler Bowl. Hafele has started all six games for Butler this season. (Photo by Rachel Senn)

Freshman Olivia Colosimo took a hard kick from a Billiken player in the game’s 43rd minute and received treatment at halftime. Despite the injury, she took the field in the second half and played 78 minutes.

Colomiso said that she played through the pain for her teammates.

“We were in this game and really wanted to win,” she said. “I felt like I owed it to my team to put myself out there and to play hard.”

Despite her second half return, the decision was made to sit Colosimo during overtime instead of risking further injury, forcing her to watch the decisive extra period from the sidelines.

“It’s always tough watching your team play,” Colosimo said. “I tried to be as encouraging as possible.”

The Bulldogs utilized five bench players in the first half and four in the second half.

Freshman Ali Backscheider and sophomore Claire Milam got significant minutes for the Bulldogs, recording 81 minutes and 51 minutes respectively.

Sophomore Heather Keiser and freshmen Rachel Sklarski and Molly Allen also played vital roles off of the bench.

St. John stressed the importance of her squad’s mental toughness against the talented and physical Billikens.

“I don’t think that soccer-wise we were the better team,” St. John said. “But our mental toughness and just a pure will to win got us through.

“Coming off of that Miami game, they tasted what it is to win a game. It didn’t matter that they were coming at us. We were going to find a way to win this game.”

Junior goalkeeper Olivia Walter thwarted all three of St. Louis’ shots on goal and recorded her first shutout of the young season.

The Bulldogs, despite getting off to a slow start with four straight losses, are heating up and have scored six goals in the past two games.

Of those six goals, Griswold has netted four of them.

Melendez contributed the other two goals as well as two assists.

Butler has had this week to improve before they play in Corvallis, Ore. While there, they will participate in the Oregon State Tournament.

The tournament pits the Bulldogs against Pac-10 teams Oregon State (4-0) and Oregon (2-3-2).

They return home to host Oakland (1-4-1) Sept. 24 at 4 p.m.

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