MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Butler women's soccer team opened pool play at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament with a 5-0 win over Waubonsee (Ill.), setting the stage for a rematch with the nation's top team.
Brittney Lawrence had three goals and an assist in the game, recording the hat trick with one goal in the first half and two in the second half. Rosa Urista-Chico and Amy Strath had Butler's other two goals.
Butler outshot Waubonsee 12-5 in the first half and finally broke through in the 31st minute as freshman Rosa Urist-Chico chipped in an assist from sophomore Brittney Lawrence for a 1-0 lead.
Eleven minutes later Lawrence made it 2-0 on an assist from freshman Jaclyn Means. That was the score at the half.
"We were pretty rocky in the first half but I think that's first-game jitters," Hunter said. "We'll have to be better tomorrow."
Lawrence iced the game played in overcast and cold by Florida standards weather – 53 degrees - by beating goalkeeper sophomore Christina Sommerfield in the 66th minute for a 3-0 lead.
Freshman Amy Strath made it 4-0 in the 80th minute as she tapped in a rebound off her own shot that had hit the post.
Lawrence collected her third goal for the hat trick for a 5-0 lead in the 89th minute. Strath got the assist.
"Once we started playing it was just like normal," Lawrence said about first-game nerves. "It gives me confidence but it's a new day tomorrow. I'll have to go out and just work hard."
Butler will play on Wednesday against top-seeded Iowa Western, with the winner advancing to the national semifinals. Both teams were in the final four last year with Butler finishing third and Iowa Western winning the national title. The Reivers have not lost this year, going 18-0-1. That includes a 4-1 win over Butler in Iowa in the opening game of the season.