INDIANAPOLIS – The 2013 Butler women's soccer season was full of excitement as the team posted an 11-7-2 overall record which included a 4-5 mark in the BIG EAST conference. The Bulldogs were highly competitive in their first season in the new conference as they came away as the No. 5 seed in the BIG EAST tournament.
A challenging non-conference schedule prepared the Bulldogs for the BIG EAST conference season. Louisville, Seattle, Eastern Michigan and nationally ranked Michigan highlighted the early part of the year where Butler posted a record of 7-1-2 before the start of BIG EAST play.
Eight of Butler's 20 matches were against teams that reached the NCAA national tournament. The 'Dogs fell to No. 9 Georgetown and No. 14 Marquette during the regular season, but came up with arguably the biggest win program history when they knocked off No. 11 Michigan 1-0 at the Butler Bowl on Sept. 15. The Wolverines went on to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament and ended the year ranked No. 6 in the country.
A first half goal from freshman McKenzie Muchow gave Butler the win over Michigan. Muchow scored her first goal of her collegiate career as she found the back of the net from five yards out off a double assist from Mary Allen and Sophia Maccagnone. The win shot Butler into the national spotlight as the team spent two weeks ranked in the Top 25 of the Soccer America National Rankings.
That home win was one of five on the year as Butler posted a 5-1-2 record at the Butler Bowl to extend their home record over the last two seasons to 12-2-5. The 'Dogs shutout Northern Kentucky 3-0 in the home opener and then tied both Seattle and Eastern Michigan before the Michigan win. The only home conference loss of the year came at the hands of ninth-ranked Georgetown on Oct. 3. The Bulldogs responded with two overtime home wins after defeating St. John's and Providence each by the final score of 2-1. The final home game of the year featured Butler recorded a 1-0 win over Xavier on Senior Day.
The team performed at a high level both on and off the field as Butler once again was recognized with a NSCAA Award by posting a team GPA above 3.0. The honor marked the sixth time that Butler has earned the award as they ended the 2013 season with a team GPA of 3.47.
Individual honors came in during the season as well as during the postseason as multiple Bulldogs were recognized by their peers for their outstanding efforts on the field. Sophia Maccagnone took the highest honors as she was named First Team-All Region and First Team All-Conference. The standout sophomore led the team in many statistical categories including points, goals and shots. She was a three-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll selection.
The second Bulldog to earn all-region and all-conference honors was freshman Serina Kashimoto. The defender was a Second Team All-Region pick as well as a Second Team All-BIG EAST selection. She paced the defensive unit that posted seven shutouts during the season.
Back on the offensive side of the field, Elise Kotsakis was yet another student-athlete selected to receive all-conference honors as Kotsakis earned Second Team All-BIG EAST honors at the forward position. Kotsakis was also a BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll selection.
Newcomer McKenzie Muchow was rewarded with back-to-back BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors during mid-September. Her first award came after she helped the Bulldogs defeat Michigan (Sept. 16) and the second award came after a two-goal road match at Wright State.
Senior goalkeeper Julie Burton was yet another Bulldog to earn BIG EAST honors as she was tabbed Goalkeeper of the Week (Sept. 2) after a pair of matches early in the season. Burton recorded her 10th shutout of her career in a 3-0 win over Northern Kentucky and she came back to record four saves in the overtime victory at Bowling Green.
Burton and the rest of the talented senior class will be missed, but Butler has lots to look forward to next season with the return of Maccagnone, Kotsakis, Kashimoto, and Muchow among others.