The Butler soccer team won its conference opener in thrilling fashion on Wednesday, getting a free kick into the net from 25 yards out to defeat Johnson County 2-1 in overtime at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
Just three minutes into the overtime period, a Johnson County foul gave Butler the kick. Defender Aylin Torres lined up for the kick and drilled it into the upper-left corner of the frame, past the outstretched arms of the Johnson County keeper. It is her first goal of the season, but the second game-winning goal of her career. She also scored the deciding goal in a home win over Coffeyville last year.
The two teams had seemed destined for overtime from the start. Neither team could score in the first half. Then in the second half, it was a Butler foul that gave Johnson County a free kick. That kick was headed into the goal in the 56th minute by Aina Blanch-Lopez.
Butler didn't trail long. Less than two minutes later, Elise Leidersten was tightly defended with her back to the goal. She turned and fired a shot from distance that was in the upper right corner of the goal, tying the match. It is her team-leading ninth goal of the season through seven games.
Butler moves to 1-0 in Jayhawk East Conference play and is 4-3 overall. The Grizzlies will play Saturday in Coffeyville before returning home on Wednesday to face undefeated Neosho County.