The Butler women’s soccer team began its season over the weekend with a loss at Indiana and a victory over Madonna.
On Sunday the Bulldogs fell to in-state foe Indiana, 6-1. Junior Katie Griswold scored the team’s only goal with a penalty kick in the first half.
Freshman Elise Kotsakis led Butler with three shots, two of which were on goal. Sophomore Anna Ventimiglia and freshman Ann Zerfas each had two shots.
Senior Natalie Galovska and sophomore Julie Burton each spent time in front of the net for the Bulldogs. Galovska had three saves and Burton had two blocks, but it was not enough to stop Indiana’s offense. The Hoosiers outshot Butler 19 to 12.
On Friday, the Bulldogs opened the season with a win over Madonna, 4-0.
“For our first game, it was perfectly executed,” head coach Terri St. John said.
Junior Rachael Melendez got the ball rolling early for Butler with a goal in the ninth minute. Melendez was set up by a short pass from sophomore Jackie Hafele inside the box.
Melendez followed up with a second goal less than five minutes later after stealing a bobbling ball from Madonna’s goalie.
Melendez credited her goals to “awesome opportunities” and said the team “has a lot of heart.”
Zerfas scored Butler’s third goal with a precise side net shot after taking a left side pass from sophomore Mary Allen.
Butler finished up the half with a goal by freshman Lucy Chauvin with about four minutes remaining. Chauvin put the ball in the net after receiving a long cross from sophomore Olivia Colosimo.
“Our first half could have been better, but the second half we did a better job,” St. John said.
Although Butler continued to attack during the second half, the Bulldogs were kept off the scoreboard.
Both Butler goalies, Burton and Galovska, kept Madonna scoreless.
The Bulldogs are a youthful team, with just three juniors and one senior. St. John said Butler fans do not need to fear the team’s lack of upperclassmen this season.
“Age isn’t the story line anymore,” St. John said. “We’re a very experienced team.”
Galovska, the team’s lone senior, is seeing her first action since suffering an injury last preseason.
“Sometimes I forget I’m a senior,” Galovska said. “I feel like more of a big sister.”
Galovska is ready to take on her role as “big sister” as the season continues.
“I’m really excited,” Galovska said. “Our style of soccer is different this year. We’ve been playing good, mature soccer.”
The Bulldogs will travel to Terre Haute Friday to play Indiana State and return home Sunday to host Pac-12 foe Oregon State at the Butler Bowl.