Butler opens conference play with 4-0 win at Cowley

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. - The Butler Grizzlies (4-1-1, 1-0) took home their first Jayhawk Conference win of the season Thursday night defeating the Cowley County Tigers 4-0.

The Grizzlies dominated the attack from the first whistle sending in six shots (two off the cross bar) within in the first seven minutes of the game. Abby Ponce (Oxnard, CAlif.) finally found the back of the net in the 10th minute to put Butler up 1-0. Ponce's goal game after Natausha Sanchez (Dodge City, Kan.) played a ball down the flank to fellow sophomore Perla Hernandez (Great Bend, Kan.) who flighted a pass across the 6-yard box. Ponce, who has been big in the air all year, got her head on the ball slipping it passed the keeper. The Grizzlies would continue to press for the rest of the half, but to no avail. At half time the score would remain in Butler's favor 1-0 after 18 shots 12 of which were on goal.

Heading into the second half, Butler prepared for a challenge. Cowley would not be easily beat on their home turf, but the Grizzlies would prevail. 16 minutes into the second half, Butler struck again off a penalty kick. The foul occurred when Ponce was brought down in the box after penetrating the Tiger's backline. Aisling Dyer (Ireland), who had already laced several free kicks in the game, stepped up to take the shot and placed it past Cowley's keeper. The 2-0 lead changed the momentum of the game and the Grizzlies looked hungry for more.

Butler solidified the lead with a goal from Freshman Kaila Sneath (Hutchinson, Kan.) with 20 minutes left in the game. Sneath made a slashing run into the box and was rewarded with a cross from Hernandez who tallied her second assist of the night. Hernandez was played the ball by holding midfielder Casie Greenlee (Valley Center, Kan.) who minutes earlier had rattled a shot off the crossbar. With 7 minutes left in the game, Butler found the net for the fourth and final time. The game winner was scored by Alyssa Miller (Thornton, Colo.) off a long penetrating pass from center back Kayla Weakly (Wichita, Kan.).

Despite a young backline, Butler recorded another shutout (their fourth of the season). Mel Nuessen (Emporia, Kan.) played 90 scoreless minutes in the goal for the Grizzlies making 5 saves. Cowley's goal keeper had a tough night, but kept her team in the game making 21 saves.

The Grizzlies will look to remain undefeated in conference play when they travel to Coffeeville on Sunday. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m.