Indianapolis, Ind. - Sophomore Lauren Papierski netted her first career goal and junior Carrie Twyman added an insurance mark just minutes later as the Bulldogs shut-out visiting Valparaiso, 2-0, at the Butler Bowl for a victory in their first Horizon League match of the season.
The Bulldogs improve to 5-5 on the season and 1-0 in league play, while Crusaders fall to 7-2-1 and 0-1 in conference.
"This was a nice win for us," head coach Tari St. John said. "Valparaiso is a solid, well organized team. We could have done some things better, but it is much more enjoyable to learn from mistakes in a win rather than a loss."
Butler got on the board in the 14th minute, as junior Abbie Kaul fed a long pass up from the right side towards Papierski. After the pass deflected off the Valpo defender, Papierski corralled the ball 10 yards in front of the net and sent in a bouncing shot past the Crusader goalkeeper for the first strike of her career.
"LP's goal was very characteristic of herself," St. John commented. "She's an opportunist; she chases things down even if the odds aren't in her favor. This time there was the greatest payoff of all."
The Bulldogs built on their lead less than six minutes later. Freshman Maite Bastyr moved the ball up field to junior Kenzie Kokta, who crossed a pass over the middle to Twyman. The Butler forward collected the feed about 10 yards from the net before chipping an arcing shot over the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper for her fourth score of the year and a 2-0 Bulldog advantage.
After some early offensive threats from the Crusaders in the first period, the Bulldogs controlled the tempo for much of the remainder of the match. Valparaiso was unable to crack through Butler's defensive third for nearly the entire second period, as the Crusaders managed only three shots in the final 45 minutes.
"Mandi Kotynski's ball winning ability in the second half was the difference maker," St. John added. "Her play keeps teams from thinking they can get back in the game."
Sophomore goalkeeper Laura Baker picked up her fifth win of the year, making a save in 77 minutes in net.
Butler continues league play on Sunday (Sept. 28) when it hosts Youngstown State beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Butler Bowl.