Oct. 24, 2010
Contact: Brian McCann
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The 2010 Horizon League regular season ended with a flourish on Sunday after an odd combination of events, Cleveland State will enter the upcoming league championship as the No. 3 seed after falling at Butler, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon in a match that was twice delayed by lightning and eventually was called with 3:26 left in regulation.
The loss, combined with Milwaukee's 1-0 loss at Wright State, allowed Butler to tie the Panthers for the regular season crown with the Bulldogs earning the right to host the final two rounds of the league tournament on a tiebreaker.
CSU ends the regular season with a 9-7-2 mark and 5-3 in league play while Butler improves to 8-10 overall and 6-2 in league play. The Bulldogs claim the top seed because the defeated Milwaukee, 1-0, during the regular season.
The Vikings will now host No. 6 Detroit in an opening round match on Sunday, Oct. 31 at Krenzler Field. The time will be determined on Monday.
"I could make a lot of excuses about how things went today, but the bottom line is that we came out a little flat in the first half and just didn't create the type of scoring opportunities that we have used so well to win matches this year.
"Our defense played well and kept Butler's chances for the most part to the areas outside of the box. The one time that Butler made a play in the box, the call went against us and it cost us the match."
The Bulldogs scored the only goal of the match at the 55:10 mark when Sarah Phelps scored on a penalty kick. Phelps placed the ball in the extreme left corner and Viking goalkeeper Kelly Zinkiewich was able to get a hand on it but not enough to keep it from finding the goal.
Katie Griswold had gained control in the right corner and when making a move past Frederike Dubeau she was bumped and fell down, drawing the foul call and the penalty kick.
"That was a tough call to make because although there was contact, it was minimal," Falor said. "I thought Kelly had it stopped because she made the right read and was able to get a hand on the ball, but she didn't get a big enough piece on it.
"Kelly has come through for us all year long and I know that this little setback isn't going to deter her, or the rest of her teammates, from coming back next week and continuing to work their way to achieving their goal of winning a league title."
The Vikings had a great opportunity to even the match in the 78th minute when Natalie Daniels weaved her way through the Butler defense from the left side, made a nice move towards goal and appeared to be taken down in the box by a Bulldog defender but CSU did not get the foul call.
"That was another tough call that didn't go our way," Falor said. "Natalie made a series of great moves to get past several defenders and into a scoring position and the last Butler defender threw herself at Natalie and she went down. Natalie deserves all the credit for creating the opportunity but there was just too much traffic to finish it."
Neither team had many scoring chances as Butler held a slight 7-3 edge in shots with Zinkiewich making four saves and Butler's Olivia Walter stopping one.
The biggest edge came in corner kicks where Butler had eight compared with CSU's two.
The loss completed a league season for CSU that saw all eight Viking league contests end in a shutout with Zinkiewich recording five of her school-record seven shutouts while CSU was blanked in its three losses.
Butler had the best scoring opportunity in the opening stanza when Jackie Hafele, who had three of the Bulldogs' four shots on goal, put her head on a corner kick and placed the ball out of the reach of Zinkiewich to the left corner, but defender Marina Taylor was in a perfect position to clear the ball off the line and end the scoring chance.
"We've played well at home this year so even though we missed out on the regular season title today, it will be good to get home and play a first round match in the tournament next week," Falor said. "It will give us the opportunity to play one more time and get ready to play in Indianapolis the following week."