Bulldogs enter conference play with streak on the line

BOBBY JOHNSON | STAFF REPORTER

The Butler women’s soccer team will enter Big East Conference play this week riding the momentum of a five-game winning streak. Photo by Erin Marsh

The women will play Villanova University (2-5-2) tomorrow night at the Butler Bowl and then wrap up the week by hosting Seton Hall University (3-4-2) on Sunday night.

The streak has propelled the women to a 6-4 record which currently puts them fourth place in the Big East standings just behind Georgetown University. Senior defense Stephanie Kaylor believes that the way they have been preparing for games has fueled their current streak.

“It’s just been working hard in practice,” Kaylor said. “We come out here every day with the attitude that we are going to get better.”

Sophomore forward Kathryn Voelker also understands how vital their preparation is, especially as they head into conference.

“We have a full week of practice ahead of us,” Voelker said. “We are going to have to really tune in and focus.”

The team has also stepped up its defense lately, giving up only two goals in its last five games and holding the opponent to zero goals in three of those games. It allowed eight goals through its first five games. After the latest win against Bowling Green State University on Friday, senior Elise Kotsakis said that the team was focusing primarily on holding the opponent to zero and getting back on defense.

The team knows that in order to fulfill its postseason aspirations, a strong showing in conference play is key. Last year, the team was 4-5 in conference play. The Bulldogs began 0-3, allowing 8 goals while scoring only once. This year, Voelker hopes to do the opposite.

“We established in the beginning that we want to do better than last year,” Voelker said. “With these next two games, it is going to set the pace to really keep things rolling.”

Such a strong start seems to be in the Bulldogs’ favor. Villanova currently sits in last place in the conference and has scored more than one goal in only one game this year. Seton Hall currently sits in seventh place.

Kaylor is pleased with the team’s play thus far and acknowledged that they need to just keep finding the open girl.

“I would just say keeping up what we are doing,” she said. “We always work on keeping the ball moving as much as we can, so I think that’s going to be really important come conference time.”

 

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