Indianapolis, Ind. - The Butler women's soccer team opened up its spring campaign with a couple of impressive performances, as the Bulldogs claimed a 3-1 match at Xavier on March 21 before holding on for a 1-0 victory over Iowa State on Saturday (March 28) at the Butler Bowl.
Abbie Kaul picked up a pair of goals against the Musketeers, scoring off a corner kick by Molly Kruger before adding an unassisted mark later in the contest. Lauren Papierski added a goal of her own, coming off a feed from Carrie Twyman.
"I am very pleased with how we played in both games," head coach Tari St. John said. "It's always nice to win, but more important, especially in the spring, is how you win.
"Both games presented us with a different type of challenge," St. John continued. "Xavier was much more compact in their defensive effort. Especially in the second half, at times, they had every player in their defensive half. Without much space to play in behind the defense, we found ways to break them down in front with some creative combination and the ability to move the ball.
"Against Iowa State, we faced an athletic team," St. John added. "They were good in the air and they could close down space fairly quickly defensively. But we were able to connect 10+ passes in some possessions and eventually that will wear down a defense. The goal we scored was certainly one of quality, but I was glad to see that it wasn't our only opportunity of the match.
"With Abbie Kaul and Sarah Phelps out of the lineup against Iowa State, we needed players to step up. Cara Burchett did a solid job for us in the backline as did Mandi Kotynski at right back. With only one sub on the day, our fitness level really paid off.
"Our focus this spring has been on the attacking part of our game. Last fall we just did not create enough goal scoring opportunities. Our goal going into next season is to become much more dynamic in our attack and, after two games, we are certainly headed in the right direction."
Butler continues its spring campaign this weekend with a game against Evansville at Kuntz Stadium on Saturday (April 4) and another contest at Cincinnati on Sunday (April 5).