TOPEKA, Kan. – Butler soccer is heading back to the NJCAA National Tournament for a fifth straight appearance after defeating Johnson County 5-0 in the Region VI Championship on Friday at Hummer Park.
The Grizziles (19-2-0 overall) led 1-0 at halftime after Lexi Clark scored on a corner kick in the 21st minute, then added four second-half goals – including two goals by freshman forward Lauren Allan – to win the contest.
Paige Achey set up Butler's opening goal with the corner to Clark, who crashed into the middle of the goal box while falling to the ground.
Just five minutes into the second half, Allan scored the first of two goals. A deflected shot towards two Johnson County defenders ricocheted back to Allan, who then nudged the ball past Cavaliers keeper Mia Richards.
Allan added her second goal less than three minutes later, receiving a pass from Jaclyn Means to give Butler a 3-0 lead.
In the 73rd minute, Achey provided a strong left-footed strike into the upper left corner of the net to score the Grizzlies' fourth goal. The goal was Achey's 19th of the season, which leads the team.
Butler recorded its 15th shutout of the season as freshman goalkeeper Jami Reichenberger made four saves.
The Grizzlies will next play in the NJCAA National Tournament, which will be held in Melbourne, Fla., on Nov. 16-21. Butler's opponent and game time has yet to be decided.
NOTES: The Grizzlies are 7-1 against Johnson County in Region VI playoff contests, including a 3-1 series lead in Region VI title games… Butler is now 6-3 in Region VI finals.