Grizzly freshman Kaylee Swanson's first collegiate goal turned out to be the difference maker in Butler's 1-0 win over No. 12 Johnson County on Sunday night at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
Swanson blasted a left-footed shot from 25 yards out in the 61st minute, going just over the outstretched hand of Cavaliers goalkeeper Vanessa Silva and into the net for the lone goal of the night for Butler (4-3 overall, 2-0 conference).
"I was just dribbling up the field and no one was pressuring me, so I just hit it," said Swanson. "It felt amazing, since it was my first time scoring in a college game."
Prior to Swanson's goal, the Grizzlies' best opportunity came on their lone shot on goal in the first half. In the 20th minute, sophomore forward Kennedy Weaver hit a shot that deflected off of a diving Silva. Forward Zion DeWerff came crashing in for a putback opportunity, but rushed a shot well off the mark.
After playing to a scoreless first-half tie, Butler provided more offensive opportunities in the final 45 minutes of play. The Grizzlies outshot Johnson 11-1 and had five shots on goal in the second half.
"I thought the first half we were better than we were (Friday against Coffeyville)," said Butler head coach Adam Hunter. "Kyla and Michelle gave us a different look in the second half. We were trying to get in behind them and when we bring those two in, we started playing at their feet and forced (Johnson) to be better defensively."
The win not only extended Butler's 14-game winning streak over the Cavaliers, but gave the seventh-ranked Grizzlies an early half-game lead in the Jayhawk East standings over Johnson and Neosho County.
"We're in the driver's seat," Hunter said. "Typically, Johnson and Butler are going to be at the top of the table in the East. Being 2-0 (in conference play) is nice, but getting one of those against Johnson is nicer."
NOTES: Butler leads the overall series 20-6-1 against Johnson County, while the Grizzlies improved to 9-2-0 in games played in El Dorado... The shutout was the Grizzlies' 12th over the Cavaliers... Grizzly keeper Elena Garcia recorded her second shutout of the season and made two saves. Garcia now has five shutouts in her Butler career.