Butler girls lacrosse tops McDowell


BUTLER TWP — Saturday’s first half was a grind for the Butler girls lacrosse team. 

Teamwork led to a Golden Tornado takeover. 
Butler and Erie McDowell were tied 3-3 at halftime and the deadlock continued until the Tornado’s Michelle Riesmeyer scored with 15:56 remaining to spark a 7-0 run in a 9:04 span on the way to a 10-5 non-section victory at Art Bernardi Stadium. 
Bailey Kraus tallied three of her four goals during the surge and set up Riesmeyer for the go-ahead goal. The senior pointed to the defense as a catalyst for the offensive outburst. 
“We all worked together as a team,” said Kraus. “I remember Melissa (Bartley), one of our best defenders, she had a great defensive play, she got a charge and worked it down the field. I think it starts at the defensive end. 
“We all talked at halftime and decided that we had to work as a team because no one could do it alone.” 
Megan Crawford, a junior, opened the scoring with a goal less than two minutes into the game. She finished with four goals to tie Kraus for the game high. 
“Every game, they’re ready to go. They work hard all year-round and it really shows,” said Butler coach Annie Tigano of Kraus and Crawford. “They both can pass and have really good stick work. They do a good job.” 
Krysta Moore found the back of the net for Butler’s final goal with 6:52 to play, supplying the Tornado a 10-3 cushion. 
Despite the daunting deficit in the Trojans’ second game of the day, McDowell (1-8) continued to battle and Brianna Murosky scored with 3:58 to go and Tina Skelly converted the final goal with 1.9 seconds left on the clock. 
“The good thing about them being so young is they’re really ambitious and they don’t give up. I’ve never seen this team once give up,” said McDowell coach Marissa Rosenbaum, who lost 15 seniors from last year’s squad. “We played earlier today against Moon and pretty much got smoked, but they were still going out and putting up a fight today even when the game was out of reach.” 
In her first career varsity start, McDowell sophomore goalie Kara Olsen kept the Trojans within reach for much of the game by stopping eight of the first 11 shots she faced. 
“She really came out and was really, really impressive,” said Rosenbaum. “She was explosive and had confidence that we needed in our goalie. I can’t ask for more.” 
However, Butler (6-8) eventually broke through in a big way. 
“We talked about some things we worked on in practice, got through some things and they took it from there,” said Tigano. “We have a lot of speed and we can move the ball pretty quickly when we’re looking to do that.” 
The victory snapped a recent skid and gives Butler some momentum heading into critical section games at Vincentian Academy Tuesday and at home against Hampton Saturday. 
“It absolutely is a confidence boost because we need to win some games next week to go to the playoffs,” said Tigano. “It’s good to go into those games with a win.” 
As a senior, Kraus certainly hopes to end her Butler career in the postseason. 
“The last couple games have been tough. Today we just kind of proved to ourselves that we can catch and we can throw,” Kraus said. “We have to work together and depend on each other to get it down the field and get it to the goal. 
“Hopefully, we’ll have some playoffs,” she added. “I love my team.”