The Butler women’s soccer team played two matches over the weekend, beating Eastern Michigan at home 2-1 before traveling to Eastern Illinois and coming away with a 3-2 victory.
The Bulldogs (4-2) got off to a slow start Friday versus Eastern Illinois, giving up two goals in the first 25 minutes.
Junior Kristin Germann accounted for both Eastern Illinois goals, and Butler found itself facing a 2-0 halftime deficit.
“It was a pretty unlucky situation,” sophomore defender Ali Backscheider said. “The ball got behind us, and we got broken down.”
Putting pressure on the Panthers (0-4-1) with a more attacking formation, the Bulldogs got their first breakthrough when sophomore Nikki Hafele scored a header in the 54th minute.
Junior Katie Griswold wasted no time in extending Butler’s lead, scoring a penalty kick just two minutes later.
The game-winner came from freshman Elise Kotsakis in the 69th minute.
With a lead, the Bulldogs were able to switch back to a more conservative formation and hold on for the victory.
Sophomore Jackie Hafele said coming back against the Panthers was simply a matter of the team believing in each other and in themselves.
“The coaches were very positive, and they knew we would win if we played our game,” Hafele said. “Once they instilled that in us we were all like, ‘Yeah, we can do this.’”
Two days earlier, the Bulldogs played host to Eastern Michigan, picking up a 2-1 victory.
With the game knotted at 1-1, Jackie Hafele scored a header on a corner pass from freshman Stephanie Kaylor.
“I knew it was going to be our last chance, and I just got a head on it,” Hafele said. “I knew I had to be ready once my name got called. It was a great ball, and I just kind of pinned my mark off and scored.”
The goal gave Butler the win and kept Eastern Michigan (0-3-1) winless.
Despite the pair of wins, the Bulldogs realize there is room for improvement.
“One of our main goals is to get a shutout or at least try not to get scored on as early,” Backscheider said.
The Bulldogs will take the field again this weekend when they play Southeast Missouri State and Louisville in the University of Kentucky Tournament.