INDIANAPOLIS – A goal from McKenzie Muchow and a team save with less than a minute to play in regulation highlighted what was arguably the best win in Butler women's soccer program history as the Bulldogs defeated No. 11 Michigan on Sunday afternoon by the final score of 1-0.
Muchow, a freshman from Avon, Ind., picked the perfect time to score her first goal of her collegiate career as she found the back of the net from five yards out off a double assist from Mary Allen and Sophia Maccagnone.
"That goal was literally from the training ground," Co-Head Coach Tari St. John explained. "We trained to get the ball to the flank and to look for that early service that can beat some of the defenders back in that pocket. It was nice to see some of our work from the training ground come out on game day."
The Bulldogs held off a heavy offensive attack from Michigan in the second half of competition and moved to 5-1-2 overall with the victory over the nationally-ranked Wolverines.
"We didn't think about this game possibly being the biggest win in program history," St. John explained. "We trained very well the last two and a half days in preparation for Michigan and we executed a good game plan."
The end of the second half was nerve-racking for the Butler faithful as the team faced two late corner kicks before claiming the victory. A team save helped the Bulldogs pick up the shutout, but senior goalkeeper Julie Burton was also on top her game this afternoon, recording a match-high four saves against Michigan.
The Wolverines were relentless in the final 45 minutes of action, attacking the Bulldogs from all over the field. They ended the match with 18 shots compared to just nine from Butler, but Muchow's goal was the difference maker as the Bulldogs pulled off the upset.
"When you get a lead on a ranked team like Michigan, they are going to throw everything at you," St. John stated. "They are going to come at you in the second half and change things up. Greg [Ryan] is an incredible tactician of a coach and it was just a matter of weathering the storm in the second half and I thought we did that very well."
The Bulldogs will play two more games before the start of BIG EAST competition which is slated for Thursday, Oct. 3 when Butler hosts No. 13 Georgetown at the Butler Bowl. St. John is excited about the second half of the season.
"This is a confident group of players," St. John added. "You need confidence to step onto a field with Michigan and think and believe that you are going to win a game. Having accomplished it now, and earning that signature win I think it gives the team the mindset of, why not us?" Why not us, against Georgetown or another ranked opponent like Marquette. We will stay humble and we know what got us here, but it begs the question why not us?"