#5 Butler Grizzlies took down #10 Johnson County Friday night in a battle of undefeated KJCCC teams. Butler won the game 1-0 moving them to the top of the conference with a 4-0 record (7-1-1 overall).
On a perfect fall afternoon, Butler and Johnson faced off in a rematch of last year's region VI semi-final. In front of a big home crowd, the team seemed to dominate from the first whistle. Carla Daniels (Jamaica) and Aisling Dyer (Ireland) lead the Grizzlies attack. Daniels and Dyer combined several times in the first five minutes of the match including a breakaway that rang off the goal post. Johnson seemed to be put on their heels by Butler's speed of play. Dominating center midfield play from Mari Ruvalcaba (Garden City KS), Megan Snyder (Overland Park KS) and Casie Greenlee (Valley Center KS) allowed the Grizzlies to maintain the majority of the possession. Butler was able to put 7 shots on frame in the first half. Despite the pressure, the score remained 0-0 going into the half.
Halftime adjustments by both teams leveled the playing field in the second half. The Grizzlies defense anchored by sophomores Mandi Roan (Dallas TX), Kelsey Garrison (Wichita KS) and Mel Neussen (Emporia KS), shut down Johnson's attempts to go ahead in the game. With hard counter attack play, Neussen was forced to make several big saves including a breakaway save that kept Butler in the game. With a solid defense behind them, Butler's attack was relentless. With less than ten minutes left in the game, Butler's intensity seemed to increase. Runs off the ball opened up seams in Johnson's defense providing opportunity for Butler to put the game away. Greenlee capitalized on the opportunity by slipping a ball through a hole in Johnson's defense. Natausha Sanchez (Dodge City KS) was able to get on the end of Greenlee's ball and slipped it past the diving goalkeeper. Butler would hold on to their 1-0 lead for the last five minutes of the game.
Butler has shutout every conference opponent thus far and have been perfect at home. The Grizzlies will look to extend their conference winning streak this Sunday at home against Dodge City. Kickoff is at 3:00 PM.