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Butler Beats Darton on Penalty Kicks; Three-Team Tiebreaker Game at 1 P.M. Thursday

Nov. 20, 2013 - Butler Community College and Darton College just could not get enough drama and they get to experience even more on what was supposed to be Thursday's off day.

The downpour only added to the drama as Butler Community College prevailed in a 4-3 penalty kick shootout to trigger a three-way tiebreaker on what would have been a tournament off-day.

After playing to a 1-1 tie in Wednesday's pouring rain in the third day of the NJCAA Women's Division I Women's Soccer National Championship they went to a penalty kick shootout, the second for each in the tournament and the fourth overall.

And in the downpour and darkness, which created a surreal atmosphere, Butler prevailed 4-3 in the shootout giving itself, Darton and Owens Community College pool records of 1-1.

And because Darton's Monday penalty kick defeat of Owens and Owens' Tuesday penalty kicks defeat of Butler exhausted all the tiebreakers but one the three teams will meet each other Thursday on the Eastern Florida State College field to decide which one team advances to Friday's semifinals.

Darton and Owens will play at 1 p.m. in a two 10-minute sudden-death overtime period match followed by penalty kicks if necessary. The winner then plays Butler in the same format with the winner advancing.

"We're alive," Butler head coach Adam Hunter said he would tell his team. "We got to scout them on Monday and watch where they took their penalties. They got to scout us last night. It was just going to be a matter of a kid stepping up and making a play.

"We changed our fifth taker so they didn't scout our fifth taker and that proved to be the difference and our goalkeeper did a great job."

Sophomore Morgan Foster, the nation's leading scorer with 43 goals, was successful on Butler's first penalty kick followed by freshman Brittney Lawrence. Freshman Madison Decker missed high on Butler's third try but sophomore Paige Thompson and classmate Alyssia Salinas were successful on the fourth and fifth tries respectively.

Butler goalkeeper Kelsi Langley blocked Darton sophomore Emily Atkinson's first shot. Freshman Lyana Perez, sophomore Megan Thomas and freshman Shanese Bowen were successful but sophomore Chevelle Lopez was denied by Langley giving Salinas the opportunity to clinch it for Butler, which she did.

The ride was a wild one for Hunter.

"When the game is on a roller coaster like that I'll go up to my assistants and I'll whisper to them that I hate soccer," he said laughing.

"This is a crazy game isn't it? We're on a high and 10 seconds later I'm as frustrated as can be. When we got to the penalties, it can go either way. You just try to stay even keeled and hope that a kid makes a play. I told my kids at halftime somebody's going to have to make a play."

The score at halftime was 1-1 thanks to goals 30 seconds apart. Decker scored unassisted for Butler at the 35:58 mark only to see Lopez score off a Brianna Lemerise assist at 35:28.

From there it was back and forth in the rain with neither team able to mount any serious offensive threats, setting up the shootout finish.

"We were barely alive yesterday," Hunter said. "And we're still breathing."