COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa - Butler sophomore forward Kennedy Weaver scored a career-high four goals as the seventh-ranked Grizzlies cruised to a 5-1 victory at No. 6 Iowa Western on Tuesday to open the 2017 regular season.
The Grizzlies (1-0 overall) jumped to a quick 2-0 lead just 11 minutes into the contest behind goals from Weaver and Ky Kreemer. Weaver scored the opening goal in the eighth minute on a long assist from Katie Hartman. Kreemer followed with a free kick from 25 yards into the goal just three minutes later.
Iowa Western would cut the margin in half on a goal by Ashley Overberg, who slid in front of the goal to tap in a pass from Kate Reddish.
Butler did not waste time to increase the lead in the second half, as Weaver scored goals in the 48th and 49th minute. Weaver put the Grizzlies up 3-1 with a goal from the right side after receiving a pass from Kreemer in the middle. Weaver then leaped past Iowa Western goalkeeper Mandy Clark, who dove to challenge a ball. Freshman midfielder Melanie Baca was credited with the assist.
In the 59th minute, Weaver added her final goal courtesy of a long feed from Hartman, who finished with two assists.
Butler outshot the Reivers by a 21-13 margin, with 13 shots coming on goal.
The Grizzlies will next be in action this Friday in a home opener against Rose State (Okla.) at 11:00 a.m. Butler will also face No. 16 Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa on Sunday at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: Weaver's previous-best scoring effort came against Allen County last year in a 11-2 road win on Sept. 6, as she scored two goals... Butler is now 12-3-1 in season-opening games... Butler's five goals and four-goal margin of victory set school-bests in the series against Iowa Western. The road win was just the second time the Grizzlies have won in Council Bluffs. Butler trails the overall series 5-7-1 against the Reivers.