Grizzlies fall to defending champ Iowa Western, Otero

Grizzlies fall to defending champ Iowa Western, Otero

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – The Butler soccer team dropped its first two matches of the 2014 season, both against ranked competition. The Grizzlies fell 4-1 to defending national champion Iowa Western 4-1 on Friday, then lost 2-1 to 16th-ranked Otero (Colo.) on Saturday.

In Friday's contest, Iowa Western, ranked #1 in the NJCAA preseason poll, scored first in the 26th minute on a goal by Brooke Jensen. Butler managed to score the equalizer off a turnover in the 40th minute, as freshman Rosa Urista-Chico took a pass from freshman Dalia Fernandez, then worked around the goalkeeper and slipped a shot in the side netting.

The Reivers would go on to dominate the second half with three straight goals to hand Butler the season-opening loss. Iowa Western held possession for most of the match and outshot the Grizzlies by a 30-4 margin. Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsi Langley made 16 saves in the defeat.

Against Otero on Saturday, Butler held even until Thalya Dwyer scored two goals in a two-minute span. Dwyer scored her first goal in the 33rd minute, then followed up with another score in the 35th minute.

Trailing 2-0 after halftime, sophomore Brittney Lawrence scored Butler's only goal in the 49th minute. The Grlzzlies managed just seven shots on goal in the contest, while Otero had 14 shot opportunities. Sophomore keeper Paige LaBadie stopped 12 of 14 shots for Butler.

Butler will travel to Laramie, Wyo., this weekend for two games against ranked opponents, beginning with a 4 p.m. contest Friday against #4 Laramie County. The Grizzlies then will play #2 Navarro, Texas, at 2 p.m. Saturday.