Women’s soccer takes down new foe Butler
The Seton Hall women’s soccer team defeated No. 25 Butler 3-1 on Sunday due to two late second-half goals by the Pirates.
Senior forward Katie Ritter scored the game’s first and last goal, giving her a team-leading six goals for the season.
“Rather than being successful as an individual, I’m happier to be successful as a team,” Ritter said.
Sunday’s match marked the first time Seton Hall and Butler have faced off as Big East opponents. The Pirates are now 2-0 in conference play and 4-5-2 overall.
The Pirates dominated possession in the first half and controlled the tempo of the game, which led to Ritter’s first goal. Senior Ashley Clarke stole the ball from a Butler defender and sent a low cross across the box for Ritter to launch into the back of the net.
“We’re always looking for each other,” Ritter said about Clarke. “We have all played so long together that we know how to play to each other’s strengths.”
The Bulldogs came out fired up in the second half and completely changed the momentum in the game. Butler took control of the ball and put pressure on Seton Hall consistently. In the 66th minute, the Bulldogs’ So- phia Maccagnone stole the ball in Pirates’ territory and set up Elise Kotsakis for the tying goal.
Seton Hall responded in the 80th minute when senior Amie Ruhe passed the ball up the field to Clarke, who collected it at the top of the box and beat Butler’s keeper Mackenzie Hopkins in a one-on-one chance.
The goal was Clarke’s second of the year and gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Seton Hall was not finished yet. Just three minutes later, as the Pirates continued to put pressure on the Bulldog’s defense, sophomore defender D’Yonna Riley sent a long ball from midfield into the box that was controlled by Ritter, who pounded the ball under the diving Hopkins for her second goal of the game.
“The neat part about today was that we came back strong and dug down deep, which gave us some great chances in the end to get the win,” head coach Kazbek Tambi said. “It was a total effort for us.”
The Bulldogs, coming off of a conference loss to Villanova, fell to 7-3-2 overall and 0-2 in Big East play.
“In the Big East there are no easy days,” Tambi said. “We respect them, but we’re at home and our strategy at home is to go after them.”
The win marked the first time in each school’s history that the teams faced each other in any athletic competition.
The Pirates will hope to build on the victory against the ranked opponent when they take the field again on Thursday, Oct. 3 when they travel to DePaul for their third Big East game.
Mike Romano can be reached at email@example.com.