Bulldogs quell Red Storm behind Elena Gutlove’s strong showing

Elena Gutlove

Photo credit: Butler women’s soccer

INDIANAPOLIS — With just one goal and one assist on the season entering Sunday’s match against St. John’s, Butler attacker Elena Gutlove’s stats weren’t quite doing her stellar play justice. The right-sided forward has done many influential things to spark the Bulldogs offense, but for whatever reason it hasn’t translated into showing up in the box score often.

That was then; this is now.

Gutlove not only displayed the exceptional hold-up play and off-the-ball runs she’s known for Sunday at the Sellick Bowl, but also served up an assist to teammate Paige Monaghan. The lone Butler tally carried the hosts to a 1-0 win over Big East foe St. John’s.

Butler asserted itself early on, bossing play for the first 25 minutes while St. John’s struggled to link play between its midfielders and forwards. Several poor balls and mistimed runs thwarted the Red Storm’s chances of gaining momentum.

St. John’s eventually settled down and strung some possession together. The visitors nearly opened the scoring late in the first half, but hit the woodwork on their best scoring opportunity. Butler returned the favor moments later when defender Julia Leonard ripped a shot into the underside of the crossbar that almost bounced in.

The Bulldogs finally broke through in the final minute of the first half to go on top 1-0. Monaghan and Gutlove worked a lovely give-and-go from midfield into the right corner, where Monaghan attempted a long cross that drifted in on frame and ended up in the back of the net.

Here’s a replay of the goal at about the 55:10 mark of the video, courtesy of Butler’s Facebook page:

St. John’s created a couple quality chances down the stretch, but the combined goalkeeping of Hannah Luedtke and Leonie Doege, and an in-sync back line locked down Butler’s impressive 12th clean sheet of the season. The win kept the Bulldogs undefeated in conference play at 3-0-2 and moved them to 10-1-3 overall.

Several other Butler players turned in quality shifts besides Gutlove and Monaghan, including Kyra Cooke, Shannon McDevitt, Halle Stelbasky and Breann Pempek.

Butler will head to Chicago on Saturday for a Big East clash with DePaul.

Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KJboxing.

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