There is nothing like an ice bath on a cold and windy day to shock you back into reality, but that is exactly what Coach Adam Hunter experienced Wednesday afternoon. As he brought the team together after the game, he was surprised with the traditional championship water cooler soaking. It was well earned and a long time in the making. In his 5th season as the head coach of the Butler Grizzlies, Hunter earned his first KJCCC Championship title. Although shared this year with Hutchinson Community College, the co-title returns home to Butler where it was last held by the grizzlies in 2006. The 23-0 win over Independence solidified the championship in true Butler fashion.
Looking to finish the regular season 15-2-1 (12-1 in KJCCC), the Grizzlies took the field Wednesday ready for a big win and a big win is exactly what they achieved. Besides bringing home the title, the grizzlies broke the school record for goals in a game (23) as well as the record for number of different players to score in a single game (12). The scoring started with the game winning goal by Megan Snyder (Overland Park KS). Snyder's goal opened the flood gates for Butler who seemed to be unfazed by the adverse weather conditions. Out of 24 roster members, 18 grizzlies had an impact on the score. Natausha Sanchez (Dodge City KS), Carla Daniels (Jamaica) and Abby Ponce (Oxnard CA) lead the team in goals. Sanchez netted 5 goals with 2 assists. Daniels added 3 goals and assisted 5. Ponce scored 3 with one assist. Other grizzlies who found the back of the net were Mel Nuessen (Emporia KS), Mandi Roan (Dallas TX), Mari Ruvalcaba (Garden City KS), Perla Hernandez (Great Bend KS), Alyssa Miller (Thornton CO), Kelsey Gresham (Wichita KS), Kaila Sneath (Hutchinson KS) and Aisling Dyer (Ireland). Beside the points earned by the goal scorers, Kayla Weakly (Wichita KS), Kelsey Garrison (Derby KS), Stephanie Bonilla (Garland TX), Casie and Dusti Greenlee (Valley Center KS), and Charity Hon (Towanda KS) all added assists for Butler.
The win took place on a special day for the Butler Soccer family. Being the last regular season home game, the grizzlies celebrated the hard work and dedication of their sophomore class before the game and allowed them to lead the way on the field. Butler also recognized the contributions made by the Grizzly Backers and Butler community in the construction of the new soccer building. Completed in the spring of 2011, the building adds a new element to the grizzly soccer program and is a great addition to the already superior athletic facilities at Butler. Finally accompanying the team in their celebration of the championship season were the participants of the 2011 Butler Soccer Camp. The area youth who joined the Butler coaching staff to improve their soccer skills this summer returned to campus to showcase those skills and celebrate in the success of the Lady Grizzlies.
With the win, Butler secured the #1 Region VI spot and will host the #8 Garden City in the first round of the region tournament on Monday at 3:00