TOPEKA, Kan. - Butler soccer tied the school record for most consecutive wins while advancing to the Region VI Championship game with a 5-1 win over Coffeyville Thursday at Hummer Park.
The Grizzlies (19-2-0 overall) outscored Coffeyville by four goals in the second half to win their 19th straight contest, matching the consecutive streak set by the 2012 team. Butler will go for its 20th consecutive victory at noon against Johnson County, who defeated Hutchinson 1-0 with a goal in the 86th minute.
"(The win) says a lot about the kids and how they're coming together, but No. 20 will be a lot better tomorrow," said Butler head coach Adam Hunter.
In addition to the school record, the Grizzlies will be seeking their fifth straight Region VI title and sixth consecutive appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament, which will be held in Melbourne, Fla., on Nov. 14-19. Butler will be making its seventh straight Region VI title appearance and 10th in the program's history.
Coffeyville kept close with Butler in the opening half, with Grizzly sophomore Colleen Howland scoring the lone first-half goal in the 20th minute. Howland netted a left-footed shot just inside the 6-yard box.
The Grizzlies controlled possession for most of the half, but the Ravens' defense limited Butler's shot opportunites.
"You've got a lot of credit to Coffeyville," said Hunter. "They had a mantra for tonight's game that had a lot to do with their mentality and the way that they wanted to defend. They were sliding in. They were winning balls with their head. They were trying to make it difficult and you couple that with our lethargic start, it wasn't our best first-half start for sure."
Three second-half goals in a four-minute span gave Butler a 4-0 cushion over Coffeyville. Lexi Clark opened the quick scoring barrage in the 53rd minute, spinning to her right and kicking an off-balanced shot into the goal on an assist from Caro Limon.
Katie Hartman followed two minutes later when she finished a crossing pass from Howland to put Butler up 3-0.
The Grizzlies added another goal in the 56th minute off a Taylor Martinez free kick, which took one bounce off the field, then deflected off the head of a Coffeyville defender into the goal.
Coffeyville broke the shutout in the 67th minute when Ravens freshman Andrea Comper scored on a defensive breakdown by Butler. The goal was just the second allowed by the Grizzlies' defense in 12 games.
Butler pushed the margin back to four on a goal by Taylor Spencer with 12 minutes remaining in the contest. Spencer blasted a ball into the upper left corner of the goal from 20 yards out, which capped the scoring.
Clark and Howland finished with three points, each tallying a goal and assist to lead the Grizzlies.
NOTES: Butler improved to 14-0-0 all-time against Coffeyville. The semifinal victory was the first time the Grizzlies had faced the Ravens in postseason play... Butler is now 10-5 in Region VI semifinal games, with five straight wins in the semifinal round... Friday's game will be the eighth postseason meeting between Butler and Johnson County. The Grizzlies own a 6-1 record against Johnson, including a 3-1 mark in Region VI title games. The Cavaliers' lone postseason win against Butler came in a 1-0 victory in the 2003 Region VI Championship.