FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Butler recorded their third shutout of the season on Monday afternoon by defeating IPFW by the final score of 2-0 at the Hefner Soccer Complex. Two first half goals led the team to victory as Elise Kotsakis and Sophia Maccagnone each found the back of the net early in the contest.
Elise Kotsakis scored the first goal of the match for Butler as she beat the IPFW goalkeeper from the right side of the field just 11 minutes into the contest. Sophia Maccagnone and Stephanie Kaylor each picked up an assist on the play.
Maccagnone stayed heavily involved in the Butler offense early as her unassisted goal in the 16th minute moved the score to 2-0. Maccagnone fired a shot from the middle of the field which looked to be saved by the IPFW keeper, but the referee saw the ball cross the goal line after it slipped through the keeper's arms giving Butler a two goal advantage.
"The first 45 minutes of tonight's game was one of our best halves of soccer this season," Co-Head Coach Tari St. John explained. "We moved the ball well, were bright with our movement up top, and we created plenty of goal scoring opportunities. It was imperative that we capitalized on two of those opportunities as circumstances in the second half forced us to be a bit more defensive minded."
The intensity of the match picked up in the second half as the game became much more physical. Butler's Katie Reed was hit with a red card with nearly 25 minutes remaining and therefore was ejected from the game. The Bulldogs were forced to play the remainder of the game a player down.
"Playing down a player can sometimes be debilitating psychologically, but the team stepped up, accepted the challenge and came through with a very good shutout win," St. John added. "I am very proud of the group."
The Mastodons took advantage of the situation and attacked the Butler defense on multiple occasions. The 'Dons best scoring opportunity came with 18 minutes to play as Gaby Romo hit the post from 10 yards out. The ball took a Butler bounce and the Bulldog defense cleared the ball out of harm's way to keep IPFW off the scoreboard.
Butler will return to action on Friday, Sept. 6 with a home match against Seattle. That contest will be the first of two weekend games as the Bulldogs also host Eastern Michigan on Sunday, Sept. 8.