Women’s soccer is set to take on Oakland University Friday after dropping a pair of matches at Oregon State University’s Nike Invitational in Corvallis, Ore. last weekend.
Last Friday, the Bulldogs (2-6) ran into trouble with the Oregon State Beavers, resulting in a 3-0 loss. Tough defensive play and a strong offensive effort didn’t add up for the team.
The Beavers (6-0-1), the only unbeaten team left in the Pac-10 conference, started to take control of the game in the 26th minute, after a goal by freshman Jenna Richardson.
For the rest of the first half, Butler matched the Beavers stride for stride, both offensively and defensively.
The Bulldogs came out kicking at the start of the second half, putting up two dangerous scoring chances.
The first came from sophomore Katie Griswold, who hit the post in the 57th minute.
The Bulldogs continued to apply pressure when sophomore Rachael Melendez, sent a shot off the crossbar in the 65th minute.
The Butler rally was silenced 12 minutes later as Oregon State junior Melinda Ingalls guided the ball into the back of the net, putting the Beavers up 2-0.
Oregon State sealed the win when redshirt sophomore Chelsea Buckland scored with just a minute remaining.
After the game, junior Bulldog goalkeeper Olivia Walter felt confident in the way her team played, commenting on her defense in particular.
“Our defense preformed amazingly,” she said. “It was probably the best we’ve preformed all year.”
Despite her excitement, Walter said she had to maintain focus for Sunday’s game and prepare an entirely new mindset for the less physical, but quicker, University of Oregon team.
Day two brought a similar outcome for the Bulldogs as they went up against the Ducks (4-3-2).
Within the first 30 minutes of the match, Oregon had scored six goals.
The offensive campaign was lead by Oregon senior Kirstie Kuhn, who had a hat trick within a 12-minute span.
At halftime, the young Butler squad—which started six freshmen and two sophomores—regrouped and put up a strong second half.
Head coach Tari St. John said she wanted to focus her team on using the game to make themselves better.
Their efforts peaked when Griswold beat the Oregon goalkeeper with an assist from freshman midfielder Jackie Hafele in the 77th minute of play, bringing the score to 6-1.
The Bulldogs left the invitational with a sense of confidence and appreciation for the teams they faced and the performances they displayed against their top-level opponents.
St. John said despite the losses, she looks on the upcoming games with optimism.
The Bulldogs continue their season by hosting two matches at the Butler Bowl this weekend.
The team will begin Horizon League play Sunday against Wright State University.