October 28, 2011

Loyola Slips Past Butler, 2-1

INDIANAPOLIS -- Visiting Loyola jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first half and then held off a relentless Butler attack in the second half to post a 2-1 Horizon League victory at the Butler Bowl on Friday (Oct. 28) evening.  It was the final regular season match for both teams.

Butler (8-9-1, 3-5-0 Horizon League), playing without injured regulars Jackie Hafele and Rachel Melendez, pressed a constant attack against the visiting Ramblers and finished with an 18-8 advantage in shots, including a 6-4 edge in shots on goal.  But the Bulldogs couldn't find the back of the net until 16 minutes remained in the contest, and Loyola was able to hold on for its second league win of the season.

"You fall behind early, the game changes and you have to chase it a little bit," said Butler head coach Tari St. John after the match.  "I think the thing we have to remember as a team is that we're doing a lot of things that should give us wins.  You kind of want to look to change things, but there's really nothing to change."

"Today, we weren't as deep because of some injuries, but we played well and we created chances.  We were just on the unfortunate side of the result," added St. John.

The Ramblers (6-10-3, 2-4-2 HL) jumped to an early advantage less than 10 minutes into the match when Allison Rydberg served a free kick to Valerie Gonyo, who knocked a header past Butler goalkeeper Julie Burton.  It was Gonyo's second goal of the season.

The visitors then made it 2-0 at 36:55 when Ana Michelini broke free on a run and flipped a shot over a charging Burton for her fifth goal of the season.  Alex Brown and Allison Shimer assisted on the eventual game-winner.

The Bulldogs went to halftime with a 7-4 advantage in shots, a 3-2 edge in shots on goal and a 2-0 deficit.  Freshman Elise Kotsakis finished the first half with four shots, including one on net, while junior Katie Griswold added a pair of shots on goal.

Butler continued to fire away in the second half, and Kotsakis, who had a career-high nine shots in the match, finally found the net from 12 yards out.  Sophomore Nikki Hafele started the scoring play with a pass to Griswold, who crossed to Kotsakis on the left side of the goal.  The first-year forward then fired a shot past Loyola goalkeeper Katie Groesch to the lower right corner of the net.

The Bulldogs out-shot Loyola, 11-4, in the final 45 minutes and finished the match with an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks.  Burton, who went the distance in goal for the Bulldogs, finished with two saves, while Groesch had five.  Kotsakis led both teams in shots and shots on goal (3), while Griswold added five shots, including two on goal.

Butler will begin play in the Horizon League Women's Soccer Championship at Valparaiso on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 1). Butler is the No. 6 seed and Valparaiso is the No. 3 seed.