Butler Falls At Home To Oakland, 2-1

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- With the match on the line and less than five minutes remaining, visiting Oakland came up with the big play and escaped with a 2-1 victory over Butler in a non-league match at the Butler Bowl on Friday, Sept. 24.  It was Butler’s final pre-league test before the start of Horizon League play on Sunday, Sept. 26.

Sophomore Kara Weber was in the right place and the right time for the Grizzlies (3-4-1).  She picked up a loose ball in front of the net off a corner kick by teammate Dani Haelewyn and slipped a shot past Butler goalkeeper Olivia Walter.  It was Weber’s third goal of the season, and her first game-winner.

The Oakland goal with 4:53 remaining left the Bulldogs (2-7) scrambling in the closing minutes, but the home squad couldn’t find a match-tying score.

Weber’s clutch goal decided a match that was as even as the final score would indicate.  Butler had a 12-10 edge in shots, but both teams had five shots on goal.

“We created some opportunities and there were stretches that I thought we controlled the play,” said Butler head coach Tari St. John after the match.  “We just have to do a better job of capitalizing on our opportunities.”

Butler actually jumped in front in the contest just over 12 minutes into the match.  Freshman Olivia Colosimo launched a corner kick toward the goal and freshman Jackie Hafele gathered it and fired a shot into the back of the net.  It was her first collegiate goal!

But Oakland answered less than five minutes later when Marlen Knoph picked up Walter’s deflection of a shot by Nicole DeLuca and finished with a shot past the Butler goalkeeper.

The Bulldogs had two more shots on goal before halftime, but Oakland’s Shannon Coley stopped both.  Walter and Coley each had a pair of saves in the second half.

Oakland had seven of its 10 shots in the match in the final 45 minutes.

“The game was decided on the 50-50 balls,” noted St. John.  “We didn’t compete as well as we need to on those.”

“We wanted to use our non-conference games to get better, and there are things we can learn from today’s match that will help us as we move forward.  We’ve got to put it all together, starting this Sunday.”

The Bulldogs will begin Horizon League play at home on Sunday with a 1 p.m. (ET) match against Wright State.