Grizzlies fall in tournament opener 3-1 to Salt Lake

Grizzlies fall in tournament opener 3-1 to Salt Lake

The Butler Grizzlies scored first in the opening match of the NJCAA National Tournament but they could not hold off Salt Lake as three goals in the second half would sink the Grizzlies as they lost 3-1 at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Georgia on Sunday in the first game of pool play.

The Grizzlies have now played Salt Lake three straight times at Nationals. The Bruins have had Butler's number, winning all three times.

It started well for the Grizzlies as it was Brooke Sullivan who found the opener for Butler in the 11th minute, scoring on a header off a wonderful cross from Amelie Koenig that put the Grizzlies up. Butler was outshot in the first half but they kept the lead going into halftime.

The dam finally broke in the second half as the Salt Lake pressure finally proved too much. They scored the equalizer in the 69th minute and found the go ahead goal off an unfortunate rebound for the Grizzlies in the 82nd. Two minutes later the Bruins scored their third to put the match away.

Salt Lake outshot the Grizzlies 26-5. Kyrah Klumpp had a strong game despite the loss, ending the match with four saves on seven shots. 

It's not over for the Grizzlies. They will have to defeat Monroe in a rematch of the first match of the season. The Grizzlies and the Tribunes will play the second match of pool play in Evans on Tuesday. The Grizzlies will need Monroe to defeat Salt Lake and then will have to win to have any chance of qualifying for the semifinals.