Women’s soccer: Butler drops two nail-biters

The Butler women’s soccer team found that the team that controls the game does not always win as they fell short in two games this weekend by the slimmest of margins.

The Bulldogs (4-4-0) dropped a 1-0 decision to Southeast Missouri State on Friday and followed that with a tough 1-0 double overtime loss to Louisville on Sunday. Both contests were part of The Tropical Smoothie Invitational at the University of Kentucky.

Butler faced off against the struggling Cardinals (2-4-1) from Louisville in the Bulldogs’ tournament final on Sunday.

An evenly played match ended in the 101st minute and sent Butler to a 1-0 double overtime defeat.

“As a team everyone was together on the game plan,” senior goalkeeper Natalie Galovska said. “That game could have gone either way and it just a matter of who was going to score first.”

The Bulldogs finished with one more shot than Louisville (11-10), but it was the Cardinals’ sophomore defenseman Katie Walz who tallied the game’s only goal. The strike gave Walz her first career collegiate goal.

Walz one-timed a cross from freshman forward Kim Sharo to end the contest.

The Bulldogs were led by freshman forward Elise Kotsakis, who had four shots, and junior forward Rachel Melendez, who added two shots for Butler.

The Bulldogs opened tournament play against Southeast Missouri State. The Redhawks (4-2-0) had won three of their first four matches coming into the contest.

Despite minimal offensive pressure throughout the match, Southeast Missouri State pulled out a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal in the 49th minute from freshman forward Erin Shulman.

Butler was on the attack frequently, tallying 22 shots against the Redhawks’ five. However, only two of the Bulldogs’ shots were on net, as Butler could not break through against sophomore goalkeeper Ashton Aubuchon.

“We spent so much time in their end that there really wasn’t a whole lot of space,” head coach Tari St. John said.  “Our decision making was not great at times.”

Kotsakis again led the team with four shots while junior Katie Griswold and sophomores Nikki Hafele and Olivia Colosimo had three apiece.

At the conclusion of tournament play, sophomores Jackie Hafele and Anna Ventimiglia were selected to the all-tournament team.

Butler will use the remainder of the week to prepare for two weekend contests against Oakland and conference foe Detroit.

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