TOPEKA, Kan. — Butler soccer had its 2017 season come to a close with a 3-0 loss to top-seeded Cloud County in Region VI semifinal play at Hummer Sports Park.
The 16th-ranked Grizzlies (15-5 overall, 11-1 conference) suffered their first defeat in Region VI postseason play for the first time since 2011, which snapped a 16-game winning streak. Butler had made seven straight appearances in the Region VI championship game, but will miss the final for the first time since 2009.
Cloud County (14-3), who earned its first victory over Butler in program history, had two goals from freshman forward Joana Villanova.
The T-Birds broke the scoreless tie in the 28th minute when Maryanne De Castro made a turn and passed upfield to Villanova, who snuck behind the Butler defense. Villanova then put a shot from 15 yards out just past a charging Elena Garcia and into the net.
Cloud then scored two goals in a five-minute span in the second half, beginning with Villanova's second goal at the 52-minute mark. Villanova stole the ball inside the midfield circle, worked past one defender into the 18' box before scoring a goal past Garcia.
Freshman midfielder Angie Vergara added an insurance goal for Cloud in the 57th minute, blasting a ball from nearly 25 yards out just inside the left corner of the net.
Butler finished the season as the Jayhawk East co-champions with Johnson County, giving the Grizzlies their sixth conference title in the past seven seasons and 10th all-time. The Grizzlies also made their 16th appearance in the Region VI semifinals, as Butler has advanced to the semifinal round since the program started in 2002.
NOTES: Cloud County picked up its first win over Butler in 17 games. The Grizzlies are now 1-1 all-time in Region VI play against the T-Birds... Butler's last loss in the Region VI Tournament came on Oct. 30, 2011 in a 1-0 loss to Hutchinson in the title game... Butler was shut out for just the seventh time in Region VI postseason play... The three-goal loss is the largest margin of defeat in Region VI postseason in the Grizzlies' 16-year history. Johnson County handed Butler a 2-0 loss in the 2005 title game, as the two-goal loss was the previous high... Butler falls to 31-9 (.775) all-time in Region VI tournament play... Butler finished with 68 goals on the season, which is the second-lowest mark in school history. In their inaugural season, the Grizzlies scored just 46 goals.