DAYTON — The Butler Lady Aviator soccer team battled but fell to a strong CJ team on Friday night 3-0 in their season opener. The game was played as part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Friday Night Futbol which is played each year the week before the first week of the football season in order to give soccer the limelight.
The loss was a disappointment for the Aviators after coming off an 8-3 win over Wayne in their final pre-season scrimmage.
“Overall, I was very pleased with our performance tonight,” said head coach Burt Mattice. “Although we didn’t grab the ‘W’, the girls are getting a better understanding of the shape and system that we are trying to implement.
“The girls have really focused this summer on fitness and being game-ready. We have done a lot of conditioning work and driven ourselves to be a better team and to work together better.”
Seniors Maddie Mitchell, Brooke Sherer, Skylar Rose, and Bailey Walko along with juniors Josie Stiver, Anastasia Kirchner, Mya Stammen, Kearsten Miller, Khia Miller, Claire Miller, and Carly Cline form a solid group of upperclassmen that bring experience and talent to the table.
“We have a great core group of girls back,” said Mattice. “Our four seniors really drive the direction of the program along with a solid junior class that has stepped in as role players.”
The Aviators were riddled with injuries a year ago, including multiple season-ending knee injuries that were difficult to overcome. Butler hopes to rebound after a 5-11-1 record a season ago.
“The girls have all recovered from their injuries and worked hard all summer,” Mattice said. “We think better conditioning will help prevent some of those things.”