INDIANAPOLIS - Sophomore Katie Griswold exploded for a hat trick and fellow sophomore Rachael Melendez added two goals and an assist as the Butler women's soccer enjoyed an offensive outburst in a 5-2 win over Miami (Ohio).
The Bulldogs picked up their first win of the season in impressive fashion, breaking out to a 3-0 lead at halftime. Griswold, who had five goals last year, scored twice in the game's first 12:10.
"With this team, we've seen flashes of greatness," head coach Tari St. John said. "We knew we would eventually break out offensively. Today was a total team effort."
BU took a 1-0 lead at 5:30 when Griswold stole the ball from an MU defender who had slipped. She then beat the RedHawk keeper and scored. At the 12:10 mark, Griswold made it 2-0, taking a pass from Melendez just to the right of the goal. She beat the goalkeeper again and landed a shot just inside the opposite corner. Freshman Jackie Hafele also assisted on the play.
At 27:06, Melendez found the net on a free kick just outside the box to give Butler a 3-0 lead.
Griswold completed her hat trick and made it 4-0 Butler just minutes after halftime. Senior Cara Burchett began the play by sending a long pass into the corner. Hafele chased it down and sent a cross to Griswold, who buried a shot in the upper right corner of the goal.
After Miami scored on a penalty kick, Melendez scored her second tally of the night in the 80th minute. Freshman Anna Ventimiglia sent a cross from the left corner to a wide open and streaking Melendez, who scored easily and gave BU a 5-1 lead. MU's Sarah Dessfelt scored from just to the right of the goal at the 84:04 mark to provide the final score.
The offensive outburst was more than due for Butler, which hadn't scored a goal in its first four contests. St. John said the win was the product of the team's determination and a solid week of practice.
"We had a great week of practice this week and we put in a lot of work this week trying to be better in the final third," the fifth-year coach said. "Today we saw the result of putting hard work in after a couple of losses and getting better every day."
Griswold finished with four shots, all on goal. Melendez had two shots, and both were in the net. Freshman Julie Burton made her first career start in goal, playing 90 minutes and making four saves.
Butler (1-4-0) will take a week off before hosting St. Louis Friday, Sept. 10 at the Butler Bowl at 5 p.m.