Bulldogs Drop Regular Season Finale at Marquette 2-1

Bulldogs Drop Regular Season Finale at Marquette 2-1
Elise Kotsakis

MILWAUKEE – The 2013 Butler women's soccer regular season came to a close on Saturday night as the Bulldogs took a 2-1 loss at No. 14 Marquette. The Golden Eagles scored one goal in each period to earn their 16th win of the season. Butler got on the scoreboard late with a header goal from Elise Kotsakis.

The win gave Marquette an undefeated record in the BIG EAST as they claim the No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament after posting a league record of 9-0-0. The Bulldogs finish their first regular season in the BIG EAST with a conference record of 4-5-0. Fans are encouraged to check ButlerSports.com early next week to see a preview of the 2013 BIG EAST women's soccer tournament.

"Marquette is undoubtedly the best team in the Big East this season," Co-Head Coach Tari St. John said. "Their work rate is incredible and they have several dangerous players on the attack. They are worthy of the Big East title and their national ranking. With that said, there were certainly plenty of positives to take away from our performance tonight that should give us confidence as we head into the conference tournament."

Saturday night's game got off to a fast start as Maegan Kelly scored in the 12th minute of play off an assist from Kate Reigle. Kelly's ninth goal of the season came in off a cross and she sent the ball into the right corner for the first score of the match.

The scoreboard stayed at 1-0 for a majority of the game, but the Golden Eagles were able to add an insurance goal on Butler in the 82nd minute. Ashley Handwork scored a goal off a double assist from Ashley Stemmeler and Mary Luba.

Marquette's late goal ended up being a huge one as Kotsakis put Butler on the board in the 86th minute of action. Her header goal came off a double assist from Ali Backscheider and Sophia Maccagnone. Kotsakis now has six goals on the season while Maccagnone increases her assist total to eight.

"It was nice to see us be able to carve out some of our own offensive opportunities against this type of opponent," St. John added. "The goal we scored was one of the best of the season. Ali's delivery on the service could not have been more perfect.  And Elise did well to free herself in the box for the header." 

Butler's defense kept the game close as the Golden Eagles kept the pressure on for all 90 minutes. Marquette took 10 shots in the first and 12 in the second to keep senior goalkeeper Julie Burton on her toes. Butler was limited to just two shots each half.

Burton made five saves for Butler while Amanda Engel made one stop for the Golden Eagles. Marquette also won the corner kick battle 8-1.

"The team is excited about our finish in the top half of the conference and the opportunity to extend the season," St. John said.