Garwood OT game-winner gives Butler opening conference win

Butler freshman Maizi Garwood is mobbed by her teammates after scoring the game-winning goal in the 99th minute in Wednesday's 3-2 overtime win at Kansas City Kansas (Photo by Randy Smith / Butler CC Athletics)
Butler freshman Maizi Garwood is mobbed by her teammates after scoring the game-winning goal in the 99th minute in Wednesday's 3-2 overtime win at Kansas City Kansas (Photo by Randy Smith / Butler CC Athletics)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – For the second straight contest, Butler soccer needed the final minute of the first overtime to come away victorious. In the 99th minute, freshman midfielder Maizi Garwood hit a 25-yard shot off the left post and into the net to give the fifth-ranked Grizzlies a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime victory over Kansas City Kansas on Wednesday night.

Garwood's goal came with just 5.6 seconds remaining on the clock in the first overtime period, which gave Butler (5-1-0 overall, 1-0-0 conference) a win to open Jayhawk Conference play.

"Before the ball was played to me, I had a look back (at the clock) and saw there wasn't a lot of time left, so I thought 'I might as well hit it now, because time is going to run out anyway,'" said Garwood. "I didn't know if it was going to go in or not, but it worked out well and it was pretty good goal, I might say."

Just under 30 seconds, freshman forward Kelsey Ray moved the ball in Grizzly territory. With time winding down, Pricsila Bonilla secured a loose ball back out to Ray, who found Garwood in space for the open shot.

Garwood not only hit the golden goal for Butler, but the England freshman played a key role to force overtime as well. Her 45-yard free kick in the 77th minute was misplayed by KCK goalkeeper Jaidyn Takaishi, allowing sophomore defender Sandra Thiman to score on an open net. Garwood shot into the box while a charging Takaishi overplayed the ball by jumping up and knocking the ball behind her, allowing Thiman to score an easy equalizer.

"We were very fortunate to score the second goal," said Butler head coach Adam Hunter. "I think 99 times out of 100, the goalkeeper is not dropping that ball. In overtime, Maizi picks up a ball and takes a smart, sensible shot on goal and man... what a shot. She hit a pill."

"We did enough to win the game, but KCK – a lot of credit to them to make us fight that hard for the win," Hunter added.

KCK took the early lead on a Corinne Hughes goal in the 15th minute. Hughes received a cross in the middle of the box, then hit a one-time shot with her right foot past Butler keeper Lexi Winkle.

Butler responded 20 minutes later on a Garwood corner kick attempt, which landed into the 18' for a header attempt off the crossbar by Alyssa Stewart. The ball then came down to Acsa Reyes, who delivered a quick header into the net from five yards out.

In the 60th minute, KCK took advantage of a Butler defensive breakdown following a Grizzly corner kick attempt. A shot deflection went up the near sideline to Blue Devils forward Kayla Deaver, who passed ahead to midfielder Melisa Seigel. With a 2-on-1 advantage, Seigel snuck a pass just over the foot of defender Madison Edwards and to an open Madison Broeker, who then beat Winkle 1-on-1 with a left-footed shot into the right corner of the goal.

KCK's Deaver had a breakaway attempt with less than three minutes to go in regulation, but her shot was denied out of bounds by Winkle.

The Grizzlies will continue conference play Saturday when the Grizzlies host Cowley in a 2:00 p.m. match at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex. Cowley (3-1-0 overall, 1-0-0 conference) also opened league play with a win, as the Tigers defeated Allen 5-0 on Wednesday.

"There's a lot of work to do," said Hunter. "We've got to be better. We weren't very good in the final third tonight and wasted a lot of opportunities."

"We didn't create opportunities when we were around their goal, which was pretty frustrating," Hunter added. "But would I rather get out of here with an overtime win than an overtime loss? I'll take a win every day of the week and get out at the top of the table on the first conference match day."

NOTES: Butler remained undefeated all-time against KCK, improving to 11-0-0 overall. Wednesday's match was the first time the Blue Devils came within a one-goal margin of the Grizzlies. KCK's previous narrow margin came in a 3-1 loss back on Oct. 20, 2017 in El Dorado.