Women’s soccer will look to bounce back at Green Bay on Friday after enduring a tough loss against Valparaiso at the Butler Bowl last Sunday.
Valparaiso senior midfielder Casey Pedersen guided a penalty kick into the back of the net in the 38th minute to provide the Crusaders (5-5-3, 1-2 HL) with the 1-0 advantage that would stand for the rest of the game, giving them their first conference victory.
The goal came after Valparaiso defender Tara Ellis was fouled within the 18-yard box.
Pederson then took the kick and sent it past junior goalkeeper Olivia Walter.
The Bulldogs (3-9, 1-1 HL) came out for the second half ready to fight for the lead.
Sophomore forward Rachael Melendez and freshman midfielder Jackie Hafele each had three shots to lead the Bulldog charge.
Butler continued to apply pressure throughout the final minutes of the second half, attempting to mount a late comeback.
Sophomore forward Katie Griswold also had a late breakaway that nearly ended in a goal.
The result overshadowed the excellent play from the Bulldogs.
“We have a really good team that not a lot of other teams in our conference know about yet,” Griswold said.
Butler finished with a 9-7 advantage in shots, including an 8-3 shot lead in the second half alone.
However, Valparaiso’s freshman goaltender, Kristen Manski, had five saves for the Crusaders.
Griswold recognized her team’s efforts and the disappointment when their hard work did not pay off.
“I thought we played really well,” she said. “We controlled 80 percent of the game. Soccer is a sport where the better team doesn’t always win. Sometimes the other team gets lucky, and they got lucky with the penalty kick.”
Walter took the loss in stride, recognizing the opportunity it would bring regarding future Horizon League play.
“It hurts, but it’s also a positive thing to think about because we know we can beat [Valparaiso] in the tournament,” she said. “We’re looking towards that.”
When asked what her team was going to do to prepare for next week’s games, Griswold said she felt there wasn’t much that needed to be changed.
“We won everything in the air, we had more shots on goal and our defense played phenomenally, so we’re going to keep working the way we have,” Griswold said.
Butler will resume their conference match play in Wisconsin next week.
The Bulldogs will take on the Phoenix of Green Bay on Friday and the Panthers of Milwaukee on Sunday.