Butler Keeps Pace In Conference, Beats Temple 2-1

Butler Keeps Pace In Conference, Beats Temple 2-1
Sophia Maccagnone
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The Butler women's soccer team extended its home unbeaten streak to nine matches with a 2-1 win over the Temple Owls on Friday night. The win gave the Bulldogs three points in the conference standings, helping Butler stay among the top eight point-getting teams in the league. The top eight teams advance to the conference tournament.

"We were sitting at eight in the conference, so we needed a win today," senior forward Rachael Melendez said following the win. "We don't lose on our home field. We have a winning streak here, so it was good to honor that."

The Bulldogs (9-4-3, 3-1-2) got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal from freshman midfielder Sophia Maccagnone in the 29th minute. The goal, one of Maccagnone's two on the night, came off an assist from sophomore midfielder Katie Reed.

Ten minutes later, the Owls (5-10-2, 2-4-0) evened the score with sophomore defender Alyssa Kirk setting up freshman midfielder Paige Rachel for her second goal of the year.

"Temple, for as much as their record might not reflect it, is incredibly hard to break down," Butler head coach Tari St. John said. "Their game plan was to put numbers behind the ball and they are extremely athletic doing it, which makes it hard in tight spaces to create goal-scoring opportunities."

The two teams entered the half tied at 1-1, with neither team scoring again until the 88th minute when Maccagnone netted her team-best 10th goal of the season off a free kick.

"Sophie is clutch," Melendez said. "She is a great player and has a knack for scoring. We definitely rely on her and those set pieces to capitalize."

The Bulldogs will look to remain among the league's top eight teams when they host the Saint Joseph's Hawks Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Butler Bowl.