INDIANAPOLIS - Playing for the first time at its newly-renovated facility, the Butler women's soccer team was edged, 1-0, by Indiana State Friday afternoon. ISU's Ashley Collins scored the game-winner in the 71st minute.
With construction on the Butler Bowl coming to a close and creating an interesting backdrop, the Bulldogs seemed to control play for the majority of the afternoon. BU had a 9-3 edge in shots at halftime and finished with a 13-6 advantage in that category. The Bulldogs also had an edge in corner kicks (2-1) and shots on goal (5-1).
"Our facility is looking incredible. We certainly have an appreciation to our athletic department for upgrading here," head coach Tari St. John said. "It's a different feeling on gameday playing with a nice atmosphere like we have now. As the season progresses, the home field advantage will only become better."
However, it was the Sycamores (1-2-0) who found the back of the net. Collins, streaking down the left side, took a pass from Alison Gasparovich as the game clock hit 20 minutes remaining. Collins made a nice move and beat the BU goalkeeper, scoring at 70:02.
Butler seemed primed to take the lead in the 7th minute when sophomore Katie Griswold was taken down from behind on a breakaway, setting up a PK for the Dawgs. ISU keeper Emily Lahay guessed right on the penalty taken by senior Sarah Phelps, and the Sycamores dodged a bullet.
Butler had a couple dangerous chances, including one by freshman Nikki Hafele at 68:09. Hafele made a nice move in the middle, but her shot pushed just wide to the right.
"I though we had them. We just got caught with a counterattack goal," St. John said. "The good news is that you analyze a loss more than you do a win. Our girls can learn a lot from this. Had we won tonight, we might not have gathered the entire lesson."
Four different Bulldogs - Phelps, Griswold, sophomore Rachael Melendez and freshman Olivia Colosimo - each recorded two shots. Junior Olivia Walter played 90 minutes and faced just one shot on goal, which was Collins' tally.
Butler continues its season-opening weekend against Indiana Sunday, Aug. 29 at 1 p.m.