Halle Stelbasky stays hot in Bulldogs’ 2nd exhibition win
INDIANAPOLIS — The stats don’t even count yet, but Halle Stelbasky isn’t wasting any time finding her midseason form. The Butler striker scored to help carry her team to a 3-1 win against an overmatched Morehead State side Friday afternoon at the Sellick Bowl.
The Bulldogs were dominant from the start, but the final product often lacked — early on at least. Some sloppy finishing led to a few flubbed shots over the crossbar.
A wild scrum in front of the net in the 15th minute nearly gave Butler its first goal, but Morehead State somehow managed a clearance after the ball ping-ponged around the six-yard box. Preseason All-Big East selection Paige Monaghan dribbled past the Eagles defense minutes later, but again the Bulldogs couldn’t find the back of the net.
Later in the half, forward Breann Pempek found herself with a golden opportunity unmarked in front of goal, but couldn’t make clean contact on the ensuing shot.
The Dawgs finally broke through in the 34th minute. Caitlyn DiSarcina got in behind the defense and put a shot on frame that required a save, and Pempek redeemed herself by tapping in the rebound.
The Bulldogs added a second goal in similar fashion — on a rebound — only this time Stelbasky was the one there to slot it home. The goal was her third of the preseason; she recorded a brace in Butler’s 3-2 exhibition win against defending Big Ten champion Northwestern on Tuesday.
Butler extended the lead to 3-nil on a beautiful cross and header from right midfielder Elena Gutlove to junior Gabrielle Lemkuil.
The Eagles pulled one back in the 89th minute on a volleyed golazo by midfielder Samantha Damante after a pinpoint service from Tia Williams. But the damage was already done and the Bulldogs held on for the 3-1 victory.
With exhibition play wrapped up, Butler will open its regular season with a tough road test at Notre Dame next Friday.
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