Indianapolis, Ind. -
Two late goals by the Butler Bulldogs lifted them over the Villanova Wildcats in overtime on Thursday night 2-1.
Villanova concluded their season with a 6-12 overall record and 2-7 in BIG EAST play. With the win the Bulldogs secured the No. 2 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament.
"What an incredible game, that was the best chess match of the season against one of the top teams in the country," shared head coach Chris McLain. "Our players did everything right for 90 mins and to be ahead with 9 mins left felt great. We moved the ball well, we stayed extremely organized and unfortunately a late PK call gave them the equalizer."
The Wildcats got on the board first in the 24th minute when Kristin Barbour placed a free kick into the heart of the box. Emily Kuefler was able to get her header to go in to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Villanova would keep this lead deep into the second half.
"How fitting is it that Chief scored her ninth goal of the season. Amanda and Emily are fantastic players. A lot can be learned from players with this type of mentality. Although their careers here at Villanova comes to a close, their heart and grit epitomize the future and expectations of all the players that now follow," continued McLain.
It was in the 79th minute that the Wildcats were called for a foul in the box, giving the Bulldog a penalty kick. Paige Monaghan took the PK for Butler and was successful in tying the game up 1-1.
Villanova had their best chance to take back the lead just minutes later when a kick from outside the box by Kristin Barbour just missed and hit the crossbar. The ball fall back into play and in front of Daniela Nelson who took a shot but it went high. Leaving the game tied at one after the first 90 minutes.
It was just seconds into overtime that Monaghan would net the sudden victory goal for the Bulldogs. She dribbled to the middle of the field and get her shot from 25 years out to bend into the top right corner of the goal to give Butler a 2-1 win.
"Paige is an incredible player and she did what she has been doing all season long," shared McLain. "she stepped up and buried a goal in OT when the team needed her the most. I told the team, if we are to lose this game, I would rather lose it on something special and she did just that."
This year's team won more game, scored more goals, and earned more points this season then in recent years.
"Overall, this team has come a long way. We proved that we can play with just about anyone. The seniors have helped establish this new culture and for that I tip my hat to them cause they are the cog that started change. Villanova will be a great team again. These will be the players that started it. For that, I thank them," said McLain.