#6 Butler edges #18 Johnson County on Stewart goal in 87th minute

#6 Butler edges #18 Johnson County on Stewart goal in 87th minute

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — After a home conference loss to Cowley, Butler soccer bounced back in a big way with a 1-0 road win at #18 Johnson County behind a goal in the 87th minute from freshman forward Alyssa Stewart.

The goal came after Grizzly freshman forward Acsa Reyes sent a ball into the box that ricocheted off a Cavaliers defender to Stewart, who had a right-footed shot come right back to her. While going to the ground, Stewart hit a sliding left-footed shot that rolled to the inside right post for the goal.

Stewart's goal avoided a fourth straight overtime contest for Butler (6-2-0 overall, 2-1-0 conference), who remains near the top of the Jayhawk Conference standings.

"It was pretty important for us," said Stewart about the win. "Johnson County had not lost yet, so I thought it was pretty important for us to win this one." 

Johnson's best attempt at a goal came just moments before Stewart's game-winner, as a ball played by Cavaliers forward Megan Nugent went over the crossbar.

"This team continues to find late goals to win games," Butler head coach Adam Hunter said. "The players, even after the game, said it was a grind. I thought we were deserving of the result today. We created a few more opportunities than Johnson County did. It was just two Top 20 teams just grinding it out and we were fortunate to get the goal. It was a good response from our girls after dropping the game to Cowley." 

Butler had a 5-1 advantage on shots on goal over Johnson County and had more corner kick opportunities (9-5), especially early in the first half.

"I think in the first 25 minutes, we had five corners," said Hunter. "We got them pinned in their end, but we just weren't putting much on goal. It was encouraging because we had a good start, which is something we haven't done."

"We did limit their opportunities all day today," Hunter added. "Our focus this whole week was our back-line players not giving the ball away so naively and our midfield having more of a presence to get on the ball earlier. I think that allowed us to have the ball more than maybe the last couple of games."

Grizzly keeper Lexi Winkle made four saves in the win, including three in the second half.

Butler will continue conference play Saturday with a 7:00 p.m. home contest against Coffeyville (6-1-0, 2-0-0), who sits atop the Jayhawk East standings after just one week of league play. The Red Ravens opened Jayhawk Conference action with a 2-0 win over Neosho County on Sept. 4 and an 8-0 home victory Wednesday against Allen.

NOTES: Butler improves to 21-9-1 all-time against Johnson County and 6-5-1 in games played in Overland Park. Prior to Wednesday's win, the Grizzlies had lost the last two contests against Johnson on the road.