LEXINGTON, KY. -- Despite an overwhelming advantage in shots, Butler dropped a hard-fought 1-0 decision to Southeast Missouri State in the opening round of the Tropical Smoothie Invitational, hosted by the University of Kentucky, on Friday (Sept. 9). The Bulldogs will face Louisville on Sunday (Sept. 11) in the tournament's final round.
Butler (4-3-0) had a 22-5 advantage in shots in the match, including a 16-3 edge in the second half. Both teams had two shots on goal. The Bulldogs also had an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks.
"It's a little painful to lose a game where you dominate in so many areas and don't come away with a result," said Butler head coach Tari St. John after the match. "One thing that stands out as an area where we need to improve is our shots on goal. Out of 22 shots, we only had two on goal. That needs to be better."
"We are playing very good soccer and creating plenty of opportunities. The focus around the goal just needs to be better," added the Butler coach.
The Redhawks (4-1-0) grabbed the lead early in the second half on Erin Shulman's fifth goal of the season. The Southeast Missouri State forward took a pass from teammate Torey Byrd, turned and fired a shot to the back of the net with 48:34 on the clock. The squad from Missouri then held off the charging Bulldogs.
Butler pressed the attack throughout the final period, but couldn't come up with the equalizer. The Bulldogs had six shots in the final 10 minutes, including one by Katie Griswold with just less than three minutes remaining that was stopped by Redhawks' goalkeeper Ashton Aubuchon. Butler's last attempt, taken by Elise Kotsakis, came just before the final buzzer, but was wide of the goal.
Kotsakis led the Bulldogs with four shots, while Griswold, Nikki Hafele and Olivia Colosimo each attempted three. Hafele had a shot on target early in the first half, but it was stopped by Aubuchon.
Butler goalkeeper Natalie Galovska went the distance for the Bulldogs and had one save.
The Bulldogs will try to break even for the tournament when they take on Louisville at noon (ET) Sunday, Sept. 11 at the UK Soccer Complex.