Bulldogs Start Slow, Strike Fast In 3-2 Win At EIU

CHARLESTON, Ill. - The Butler women's soccer team scored three goals over a span of 15:07 in the second half to post a 3-2 comeback win at Eastern Illinois Sunday afternoon. 

Down 2-0 early in the match, it was clear something had to change for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Nikki Hafele buried the first tally for the Dawgs in the 54th minute on a header. Sophomore Olivia Colosimo assisted on the play.

"We made an adjustment at halftime that we thought would create more opportunities," head coach Tari St. John said. "The team bought into the change and produced. We knew once we scored the first goal that we wouldn't have to settle for a tie." 

The change paid off and St. John's prophecy was correct. As the second half went on, Butler established itself as the better team. Junior Katie Griswold beat two defenders and then was taken down in the box, setting up a penalty kick. Griswold made the PK - her third goal of the season - to tie the match 2-2 right at the 56:00 mark.

"We came out flat in the first 30 minutes when we gave up those two goals," St. John said. "We came to life late in the first half and then completely dominated the second half."

The game-winner came off the foot of freshman Elise Kotsakis, who held off her defender to create space and then sent a rifle shot that bounced in off the crossbar.

"Elise's goal was the best finish we've had this year," St. John said.

Butler posted an 18-8 edge in shots, including a 12-4 edge in the second half. The Bulldogs put nine shots on goal and had a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Kotsakis led the Bulldogs with four shots, two on goal. Griswold had three shots, all on target. Senior Natalie Galovska made two saves and improved her season record to 3-1-0.

St. John also cited the play of junior Claire Milam, who has been stellar at center back.

"Claire played a huge role for us this weekend," the coach said. "She stepped up and played a full 90 minutes at center back on Friday then was a key part of our win today."

Butler will go to Kentucky for two matches next weekend. The Bulldogs will take on SEMO Friday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.