No. 2 Butler loses tough battle at No. 1 Eastern Florida State, 3-2

No. 2 Butler loses tough battle at No. 1 Eastern Florida State, 3-2

MELBOURNE, Fla. - In a match that lived up to the billing between the top two teams in the NJCAA preseason rankings, top-ranked Eastern Florida State edged No. 2 Butler 3-2 on Friday night at the Titan Soccer Complex.

With two one-hour lightning delays briefly postponing the action, the Grizzlies rallied from a 2-0 deficit before Eastern Florida's Darien Davis scored the eventual game-winner in the 68th minute.

After the first lightning delay in the 15th minute, the Titans got on the board first with a penalty kick just less than five minutes after delay on a Butler handball in the box. Paula Astiazaran scored the penalty as heavy rain began to fall.

In the 31st minute, Eastern Florida went up 2-0 on a Nathali DaSilva goal inside the right post.

Butler quickly answered a minute later when sophomore Lauren Allen blasted a shot under the crossbar to pull the Grizzlies within a goal.

Just two minutes into the second half, the Grizzlies tied the game as Kennedy Weaver scored her first goal of the season with a deflected shot inside the right post.

With 26:05 to play, play was halted again for another hour as lightning strikes were in the area. After play resumed, Eastern Florida grabbed the lead in the 68th minute.

Butler had quality chances for the equalizer, including a pair of shots by Allen that went off the post in the final 10 minutes of play. However, the Grizzlies were unable to score.

The Grizzlies (0-2 overall) will play Broward. Fla., on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at the Titan Sports Complex before returning back to Kansas.

NOTES: Eastern Florida State leads the overall series against Butler, 2-0-0... Friday's loss marks the second time in program history that Butler has started the season at 0-2. The Grizzlies dropped its first three games of the 2014 season to ranked opponents - losing to Iowa Western, Otero (CO) and Laramie County (WY)... Dating back to last season, this was the fifth straight game the Grizzlies have played against a NJCAA-ranked opponent... Under Butler head coach Adam Hunter, the Grizzlies are now 2-5-0 overall against top-ranked teams.