VALPARAISO, Ind. - Butler had twice as many shots and three times as many corner kicks, but the Bulldog women's soccer team was edged by Valparaiso 1-0 Wednesday afternoon. The match was played in rain and cold with winds faster than 30 mph.
Valpo (8-6-2, 4-2) got the game-winner five seconds before halftime from Mikki Nuccio. She scored on a hard, high shot from the top of the box. Casey Pedersen and Kelsey Draper were credited with assists on the play.
"I don't think you can place blame on the weather as it was the same for both teams," head coach Tari St. John said. "We had a loss of concentration at the end of the first half. Valpo earned a free kick with 20 seconds to go and we were slow to get back and organize."
Butler (7-8-1, 2-4) ripped off 16 shots, possessing the ball and continually attacking the Crusaders. Juniors Rachael Melendez and Katie Griswold each had five shots and combined for five shots on goal. Freshman Elise Kotsakis added four shots. Butler also had six corner kicks to Valpo's two, highlighted by a 5-0 corners advantage in the second half.
Valpo's keeper, Kristen Manski, was up to the challenge. Manski made eight saves to record the shutout and pick up her sixth win of the season.
"We are playing well, there is no complaint there. But our mentality still needs to improve," St. John said. "We need to hate to lose or love to win. This late in the season, there is no solace in the fact that we may be the better team. Getting results is what matters."
Butler will continue road play this weekend when it plays at Green Bay Sunday, Oct. 23. It is BU's last road match of the regular season. The Bulldogs host Loyola Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.