INDIANAPOLIS - A brief stretch of play in the second half was the difference as 12th-ranked Milwaukee defeated the Butler women's soccer team, 4-1, Saturday night at the Butler Bowl. Freshman Elise Kotsakis scored in the second half for the Bulldogs.
Down just 1-0 at the half, the Bulldogs were hanging tough with the nationally-ranked Panthers until UWM found the net in the 49th and 52nd minutes to extend the lead to 3-0. Both of those goals early in the second half were by All-American forward Sarah Hagen, who has 18 goals on the season.
"In the first half, I thought the better chances were for us," head coach Tari St. John said. "But when you face a team as good as Milwaukee and they score first, it makes you chase the game. And when you can't find the equalizer, Milwaukee can punish you for your mistakes."
Milwaukee (14-1-0, 6-0-0) had a 13-2 shots advantage in the second half and took control after halftime. The bright spot for the Bulldogs came at 78:19 when Kotsakis got the ball on the left of the box, turned and fired a strong shot into the net. It was her fifth goal of the year, tying her for the team lead with junior Katie Griswold.
Milwaukee's Morgan LaPlant added a goal in the 88th minute on a breakaway for the Panthers' fourth goal.
"We lost some composure in the second half," St. John said. "Our strength is playing soccer, movement and possession. Unfortunately, we weren't keeping possession. We kept giving the ball back to them.
"I think we're excited to have the chance to play them again. The score line doesn't look great, but we saw some things tonight that make us want to play them again."
Butler's next match is at Valparaiso Wednesday, Oct. 19. BU is next at home Friday, Oct. 28 in the final regular season match of the season.