Bulldogs Open Season With Exhibition Win Over IUPUI

Bulldogs Open Season With Exhibition Win Over IUPUI
Elise Kotsakis

The Butler women's soccer team opened its 2012 campaign in impressive fashion, beating crosstown opponent IUPUI 3-1 in an exhibition match. Senior forward Rachael Melendez scored one of Butler's three goals, while assisting another.

Melendez helped Butler get off to a blazing start, scoring off a pass from fellow senior Claire Milam in the match's 13th minute. After freshman midfielder Sophia Maccagnone sent a long pass on the right side to Milam, who centered the ball to Melendez for the goal.

"I thought we saw some moments of brilliance in the things that Sophie [Maccagnone] can do on a ball," Butler head coach Tari St. John said following the win. "As long as players stay alive around her, she's going to get assist and create some things."

Just 78 seconds later, the Bulldogs struck again, this time with Melendez assisting sophomore forward Elise Kotsakis.

Butler scored its third goal of the half in the 40th minute when sophomore midfielder Caroline Kowal sent a long pass down the left sideline to junior left back Olivia Colosimo for the goal.

Colosimo, who played midfielder her first two seasons at Butler, was playing her first game at the left back position.

"I thought Colosimo played extremely well," St. John said. "She got forward. She got the ball at her feet, and had some really good service. She can only get better from this point forward."

The Bulldogs lost their clean sheet just 31 seconds after Colosimo's strike. IUPUI junior defender Kristin Pierce beat junior goalkeeper Julie Burton at the 40:05 mark to give the Jaguars their first and only goal.

"The only thing I am dissatisfied with is the 31 seconds immediately after our third goal," St. John said. "We lost our intensity for literally 31 seconds, and I think the thing to take away from that is any team can beat you in those moments if you completely let down."

Butler will begin regular season play Friday when it hosts Louisville at 7 p.m. The Cardinals return three seniors from last year's squad, which advanced to the third round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament before losing to No. 1 seed Florida State.