Butler soccer suffered its first home loss in conference play in five years with a 2-1 double-overtime loss to Cowley on Saturday afternoon at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
Playing in its third straight overtime contest, the fifth-ranked Grizzlies (5-2-0 overall, 1-1-0 conference) had a 26-game home conference winning streak snapped in the 103rd minute on a corner kick goal by Cowley's Manuela Oliveria.
Butler's last loss at home came on Oct. 14, 2014 in a 2-1 overtime loss to Hutchinson, which oddly enough also ended a 26-game home conference win streak by the Grizzlies. Prior to Saturday's loss, Butler had won 52 of its last 53 conference contests at home.
The loss was a landmark victory for Cowley (4-1-0, 2-0-0), who ended a 16-game losing streak to Butler en route to its first all-time win over the Grizzlies.
Butler took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute, as freshman Acsa Reyes scored a putback on an Alyssa Stewart deflected shot. With the Grizzlies on the attack, Cowley kicked Lotta Dufva dove to save a left-footed shot by Stewart from the right side. With Dufva trying to get back on her feet, Reyes came charging in from the left side and easily scored the goal.
Cowley nearly had a first-half equalizer in the 30th minute off a Oliveria corner kick, with multiple opportunities denied by the Grlzzly defense. In the span of eight seconds, Cowley put five shots on goal - beginning with a header by Letycia Bonifacio and three attempts by Carolina Coelho.
Butler defenders Madison Edwards, Sandra Thiman, Lauren Peterson, Abby Edson and keeper Lexi Winkle all kept the ball out of the box by defending on the goal line, with Edwards finally clearing the ball out of the area to end the threat.
The Tigers tied the contest in the 62nd minute after Butler failed to clear a Cowley attack. After Tigers forward Natalia Lima dumped off a pass with the Grizzly defense collapsing on her, Butler defender Hannah Becker tried to clear the pass. However, Becker kicked the ball right to Tigers forward Michaela Seahorn, who knocked it upfield and then hit an 18-yard shot just over Winkle in the upper right of the goal.
With under two minutes remaining in the regulation, Butler had a man advantage after Cowley's Lidia Vicente was sent off with a red card. The Grizzlies managed four shots, but only had one attempt on goal in the first overtime.
Oliveria ended the contest with her corner kick goal, hitting a perfect shot from the left side over a leaping Winkle and into the right side of the net.
Cowley outshot Butler 15-11 and had a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. Winkle made a season-high 11 saves in the match for Butler.
Butler will remain above .500 in conference play with a road contest Wednesday at #18 Johnson County (3-0, 1-0), who defeated Allen 6-1 on Saturday. Kickoff from Overland Park is at 4:00 p.m. Following the Johnson game, the Grizzlies will return home this Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. match against Coffeyville.
NOTES: The defeat to Cowley marks just the seventh home conference loss in the history of the Butler soccer program, which was established in 2002. The Grizzlies are 93-7-0 all-time in home conference matches.