Butler women’s soccer tops DePaul in thriller

Katie Soderstrom dribbles the ball downfield. Soderstrom scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute against DePaul. Jimmy Lafakis/Collegian file photo.

KEELEN BARLOW | STAFF REPORTER | klbarlow@butler.edu

The Butler women’s soccer team improved to 10-4-1 on the season with a 2-1 victory over DePaul on Oct. 14. The Bulldogs needed late-game heroics to seal the win as freshman midfielder Katie Soderstrom scored in the 88th minute to propel the team to victory.

The win marks the fourth straight season that the Bulldogs have reached the double-digit win mark and the sixth time since Tari St. John and Rob Alman joined forces as co-head coaches.

The Bulldogs also remain undefeated at home on the season with a 7-0 record at the Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl. Butler’s last home loss came against the Blue Demons in 2016.

The first half was marked by an aggressive push by DePaul, resulting in few chances for the Bulldogs. The Blue Demons led the shot count 5-2 at the break.

Their efforts were rewarded in the 39th minute when senior forward Franny Cerny’s header found the top right corner to give DePaul a 1-0 lead at halftime. The goal was only the second that the Bulldogs have allowed at home this season and the first since their Aug. 26 match against Notre Dame. It also marked the first time that Butler has faced a deficit when playing at home this season.

“I thought we actually played really well there in the first half in terms of the game plan that we had and some of the stuff that we wanted to do with the ball,” Alman said. “We played ourselves into some good areas and just weren’t quite clean enough with the final ball and some of that is credit to DePaul and the way they defend.”

In an effort to open up more space for the forwards, the Bulldogs made a formational change at halftime resulting in more shots in the second half. Butler flipped the script offensively to dominate the second half shot count 11-1.

“Against a very good team, I thought we were utterly dominant in the second half and deserved to win today,” Alman said.

Butler found the equalizer in the 54th minute as senior forward Halle Stelbasky was taken down inside the box, earning Butler a penalty kick. Stelbasky stepped up and netted her 4th goal of the season on a ball into the bottom left corner.

The Bulldogs continued to turn up the offensive pressure with a late-game surge that saw several close chances for Butler.

The offensive push was capped off by the Soderstrom goal in the 88th minute when she found herself in a 2-on-1 with fellow freshman Anja Savich. Soderstrom snuck the ball past DePaul goalkeeper Mollie Eriksson to seal the win for Butler.

The Bulldogs will wrap their regular season Big East home schedule in their next match when they host Creighton on Oct. 18.

Follow Keelen on Twitter @KeelenBarlow

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