Golden! Dawgs Defeat Dayton In Overtime

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Elise Kotsakis

INDIANAPOLIS - Thanks to a golden goal in the 98th minute by sophomore forward Elise Kotsakis, the Bulldogs held their home turf, knocking off league-leading Dayton 3-2 Friday night in a rain-soaked overtime match at the Butler Bowl. Butler has now won or tied in its last seven home contests.

"We weren't going to lose on our home turf," Kotsakis said following the win. "It was a rough game, especially with the conditions outside. We weren't going to go through that without winning."

Kotsakis' game-winner, her second goal of the season, came off an assist from freshman midfielder Sophia Maccagnone to give the Bulldogs (7-3-2, 1-0-1) the victory.

"It's a great goal for her [Kotsakis]," Butler head coach Tari St. John said. "She's a goal scorer for us and she's been struggling a little bit. It meant so much to the team."

Last season, Kotsakis' six goals tied for the team lead alongside Katie Griswold.

Dayton senior forward Colleen Williams, who entered the match averaging an NCAA-best 2.91 points per game, gave the Flyers (8-4-0) an early advantage with a goal in the 11th minute. It was her league-leading 12th goal of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Butler responded, with sophomore defender Kelly Mahoney converting a header following a corner kick from sophomore forward Stephanie Kaylor.

The goal was Mahoney's second of the season, while the assist gave Kaylor the team lead with two.

The teams traded goals once more before the half with junior midfielder Juliana Libertin scoring for the Flyers and Maccagnone netting an equalizer for the Bulldogs.

Maccagnone leads Butler with eight goals on the year.

The two teams battled neck and neck in the second half, with neither gaining control of the match until Kotsakis netted the game-winner in the tail end of the overtime period.

"This is a game that should give us momentum--it should give us confidence," St. John said. "I thought we played a really good game and had a good game plan. We won the game fair and square."

The Bulldogs haven't been beaten since Sept. 7 and will look to continue their solid play Sunday when they host the Xavier Musketeers.

The Musketeers (6-6-1, 1-2-0) are guided by former Butler head coach Woody Sherwood.

Sherwood coached the Bulldogs for seven seasons (1999-2005). His 63 wins at Butler are the most in program history.

Xavier will enter the match coming off a 3-0 loss to St. Louis Friday night.

Sunday's match is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the Butler Bowl.