The Butler women's soccer team tied with Owens (Ohio) in its first match in pool play at the NJCAA National Tournament on Tuesday, but lost on penalty kicks 4-3.
The match results in one point earned in the standings for the Grizzlies, who are now 21-2-1. The Grizzlies face a winner-take-all game with Darton (Ga.) on Wednesday. Butler most likely must win the contest in regulation in order to advance outright. A loss would end Butler's season. A tie and Butler win on penalty kicks could possibly force a three-way tie in the pool standings.
Butler looked sluggish against an Owens team that had tied Darton the day before, losing on penalty kicks 6-5. The Express were the first team to score, cashing in a corner kick with just three minutes left in the first half. For the first time this season, Butler did not get a shot on goal in the first half.
The Grizzlies quickly found an equalizer in the second half, as an assist from Maddie Decker put Brittney Lawrence in behind the Owens defense. Her first attempt was rejected by the Owens keeper, but she was able to get to the ball again and this time stuck it in the net in the 53rd minute.
Butler would have several good chances to score in the second half, including two more chances when Lawrence would get behind the defense, but both times her shots were stopped by the keeper.
With neither team able to win in regulation, the game went directly to penalty kicks.
Both teams made their first kick and missed their second with saves by each keeper. Both teams made kicks on the third and fourth attempts before Butler missed its fifth attempt. Owens cashed in its final kick to earn the two points in the standings.