The Butler Grizzlies survived and advanced in a tight affair that saw the Grizzlies narrowly avoid defeat in a 1-0 victory over the Hutchinson Blue Dragons in the semifinals of the Plains District semifinals at Stryker Sports Complex on Thursday night.
The Grizzlies will move on to the Plains championship for the third straight year and will face Barton in the final with a trip to the national tournament on the line. Barton advanced by defeating the Coffeyville Red Ravens in penalty kicks in the early game of the tournament. The Grizzlies defeated Barton 1-0 in the previous match between the two sides.
It was Brooke Sullivan giving the Grizzlies the first half lead in the 29th minute off an assist from Brooklyn Hunter. It was a nice pass from Hunter to set up Sullivan in the middle of the box and she finished nicely with a header to the back of the net for her 14th goal of the season. The goal was enough to give the Grizzlies the lead at the halftime interval.
Things shifted in the second half. The Grizzlies had to tread water the entire 45 minutes as Hutchinson rallied for an equalizer. The Blue Dragons outshot the Grizzlies in the second half by a total of 15-2, hitting the post multiple times. But the Grizzlies backline and Kyrah Klumpp just did not break. Klumpp had two gigantic saves, finishing with nine saves and playing all 90 minutes, as the Grizzlies did just enough to preserve the shutout victory.
Hutch outshot the Grizzlies 22-11, doubling the amount of chances the Grizzlies had. But it just wouldn't go into the net as Klumpp proved why she is one of the best keepers in the conference and the country pitching her fifth shutout of the season.
The Grizzlies have now shutout the Dragons in three straight matches dating back to last season. The Grizzlies earned their seventh shutout victory of the season. Butler improves to 18-2-1 and will have the chance to advance to their 11th national tournament with a win on Saturday night.
Butler will take on Barton Saturday, November 5th at 6:00pm at Stryker Sports Complex, in Wichita, KS.
How to follow the game:
Watch Live (PPV)- HERE
Live Stats- HERE