Women’s soccer: Season ends in league semis

Despite a career-best eight saves from sophomore goalkeeper Julie Burton and a stonewall defense, the Butler women’s soccer team saw its season come to an end with a 1-0 loss to No. 15 Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the semifinals of the Horizon League Soccer Championships.

“We played extremely well,” sophomore Ali Backscheider said. “It didn’t work out in our favor, but we’re happy with how we played.”

Milwaukee junior midfielder Helen Steinhauser scored the lone goal of the match in the 35th minute, and it was enough to let the Panthers (18-2-0, 8-0-0) slip by with the win.

On the goal-scoring play, freshman midfielder Kelsey Holbert ran the ball into the box and then found Steinhauser at the near post. Steinhauser took advantage, finding the back of the net with a one-touch shot.

The Bulldogs (8-10-2, 3-5-0) shut down the Panthers’ attack in the second half but were not able to generate an effective offensive effort.

Photo by Maria Porter

By the end of the match, Milwaukee held a 17-6 advantage in shots and had seven corner kicks to Butler’s one.

Freshman forward Elise Kotsakis recorded Butler’s lone shot on goal.

“We have to score to win, and we didn’t score,” Backscheider said.

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs were able to silence Milwaukee All-American forward Sarah Hagen throughout the match. Hagen is second in the nation with 24 goals.

“We shut her down and took her out of the game,” junior forward Katie Griswold said. “[Sophomore midfielder] Anna [Ventimiglia] completely dominated her.”

The Bulldogs also had three fewer fouls and seven more saves than the Panthers.

With the season over, the Bulldogs already are looking forward to next fall.

“We played really well with just one senior, and that just shows what kind of team we’re going to have next year,” Griswold said.

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