November 21, 2008

Bulldogs Continue Climb Toward The Top In 2008

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A Look Back: The 2008 campaign was full of highlights for the Butler women's soccer team, as the Bulldogs posted its highest win total in six years before having the year end prematurely in the Horizon League Championship Semifinals in a close 2-1 match to Loyola. The season saw Butler tally its first win over Indiana in over a decade with a 2-1 win in Bloomington and hand the Ramblers their only loss in league play all year with a 1-0, double-overtime victory in the Butler Bowl.

Winning Ways: Butler's 11 wins in 2008 were the most in a season since the 2002 team won 15.

Kruger Leads Bulldogs Past IU: A pair of impressive goals by junior Molly Kruger put Butler ahead early in second period before a gutsy defensive stand late in the match preserved the advantage, as the Bulldogs scored a 2-1 victory over the host Hoosiers on Sept. 18. Kruger, a former Indiana standout, gave her former club fits all night long, scoring off a cross just over five minutes into the match before belting a 40-yard strike into the back of the net barely a minute into the second frame. Junior Carrie Twyman picked up a pair of assists, while Kenzie Kokta and Lauren Papierski added one each.

A Long Time Coming: The Bulldogs' win over Indiana on snapped a nine-match winless streak to the Hoosiers. Butler had gone 0-8-1 in the past nine meetings, including a seven-match losing streak, before picking up the 2-1 victory. Prior to the drought, the Bulldogs had won five in a row against IU, with the last win coming during the 1997 season.

Starting Out Strong: Butler's 3-0 start to the Horizon League season was the program's best record since going 4-0 to open the league slate in 2002. The Bulldogs also allowed just three goals through their first five league matches, the fewest since the 1999 season when Butler allowed three in the first five league contests.

The Only Blemish: Butler handed Loyola its only loss in league play during year, as junior Molly Kruger delivered the game-winner off a free kick in the final minute of the second overtime to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 decision on Oct. 12.

Quite A Showing: After being held scoreless in its final two matches of the regular season, the Butler offense got its act together in a big way in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Championship. The Bulldogs rolled past visiting Detroit, scoring four time before the Titans even got on the board en route to a season-best scoring total in a 6-1 victory at the Butler Bowl on Nov. 2. Junior Molly Kruger provided all the scoring Butler would need in the first half, netting her 10th and 11th goals of the season in the first 23 minutes of play. Junior Lindsey Fox added two goals of her own in the second half before the Titans managed to get on the board to break-up the shut-out. A late goal by sophomore Lauren Papierski and a Detroit own goal in the final minute of play sealed the convincing win.

A Helping Hand: While Butler's scoring total in its match against Detroit was impressive, it's assist figure stands out even more. The Bulldogs' eight helpers in the match broke the school's single-match record of seven, while nearly as impressive was the fact that a different player registered each assist.

Not A Bad First Year: Junior Molly Kruger got her first chance to step on the field in a Butler uniform this season after sitting out last year following a transfer from UCLA. The wait was well worth it, as the Carmel, Ind., native finished as the Bulldogs' leader with 31 points on 11 goals and nine assists. In fact, all three of her statistics were among the best single-season marks in school history. Her 31 points are the fourth-most all-time, her nine assists are tied for fourth and her 11 scores are tied for the ninth-best single-season total in the record books.

Trio Earns All-League Honors: A trio of Bulldogs was recognized with Horizon League post season awards, as junior midfielder Molly Kruger, junior defender Abbie Kaul and sophomore midfielder Courtney Lord were named to all-league teams. Kruger earned mention on the all-league first team and the all-newcomer squad, while Kaul and Lord were both tabbed to the all-league second team. Both Kaul and Lord earned their second mentions on the all-league team, with Kaul earning first team recognition last season and Lord receiving a spot on the all-newcomer team a year ago.

Cox, Kruger Named To Academic All-District Squad: After performing at an exceptional level both on the playing field and in the classroom, Morgan Cox and Molly Kruger were both named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V First Team. Cox picked up her second-ever honor, while Kruger earned her first.