September 2, 2012

Bulldogs Tie UT-Martin In Rain-Soaked Stalemate

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Butler women's soccer team was unable to outlast UT-Martin Sunday afternoon in a rain-soaked double overtime match at the Butler Bowl, finishing in a 0-0 tie. In the stalemate, Bulldogs freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Hopkins recorded her fourth shutout in five starts while making five saves.

"For a freshman goalkeeper to play 110 minutes in conditions like these and not give up a goal," Butler head coach Tari St. John said, "I thought that was big time."

Fellow freshman Sophia Maccagnone led the Bulldogs (3-2-1) with four shot attempts, including a near-goal in the 59th minute that was deflected off the crossbar.

Perhaps Butler's best scoring opportunity came with just eight seconds remaining in the second overtime period when junior midfielder Jackie Hafele connected on a header that bounced off the left goalpost. The game was the first appearance of the season for Hafele, who is returning to playing form following an injury.

"Jackie [Hafele] was huge in her first game back," St. John said. "The game turned when she was in there winning balls for us."

The Bulldogs were unable to secure the victory; however, St. John recognized the value of playing a hard-fought two overtime game.

"It was great for our kids to get 110 minutes of fitness in at this point in the season," St. John said. "You can't manufacture in training what our kids went through today."

The Skyhawks (1-3-1) came away with a narrow 17-16 advantage on shots, while the Bulldogs attempted nine corner kicks to UT-Martin's one.

Butler will be back in action when it visits Michigan Friday, Sept. 7. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.