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As Records Are Broken, Two Stars Emerge

Junior Goalie Kori Butterfield transferred to UT from Central Washington University. Photo by Leah Beilhart/The Minaret

Being the new kid can be tough.

Trying to make friends and create a name for yourself, proving to others that you are worthy enough to be accepted into their already formed cliques is not easy. Some will shy away from the situation into a bubble of isolation and others will flourish as they take advantage of the new opportunity head on.

Kori Butterfield, the new Spartan women’s soccer goaltender, does not plan on shying away.

Butterfield, a communications major, joined the women’s soccer team this year as a junior after transferring from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.

In her first six games at goalie with the Spartans, Butterfield had not allowed more than one goal in a game, propelling the team to an early 4-2 record.
“I was frustrated letting that many goals in,” said Butterfield. “I want a shutout every game I play in.”

Butterfield says what has made her so successful is about the situation she is in more than anything else. “At Central, the coach played mind games with the players,” she said.  “He would sit me out for games if I made any mistake. Here, they want me to succeed.”

Butterfield’s time at Central became so turbulent that she admits she considered leaving the game. “I was having such a bad experience at Central, I almost quit soccer for good.”

Despite the negativity that surrounded her time at Central, Butterfield’s love for the game has been rejuvenated during her time at UT. “They train me how goalies are supposed to be trained; there is no pointless long distance runs or other nonsense,” said Butterfield. “I’m starting to get my feel for soccer back and I like it.”

In the second grade, Butterfield chose to play goalie over all other positions and has never thought twice about it. “I stuck with it because you’re on the field the entire game and you play one of the biggest roles on the team. Also, I don’t have to run a lot,” said Butterfield with a grin.

Head Coach Gerry Lucey, coaching in his sixth season with the Spartans, understands the importance of the goalie position. “We’re not going to win a tight game without a good goalkeeper,” Lucey said.  “Goalkeepers win games more than goal scorers.”

Lucey and Butterfield both feel like this team has the potential to go far, but with seven new starters, including Butterfield, gaining confidence and chemistry are huge.
“We have a lot of new players, a lot of talented players that we need to get to mesh together but everyone has a positive attitude and is willing to improve,” said Lucey.

Butterfield, who added to the difficulty of joining a new team by missing a large portion of the pre-season with an injury, has been able to seamlessly take over the goalie position. “She is quickly gaining confidence and beginning to emerge in a leadership role,” Lucey said.  “She has a great attitude, great hands and a great kicking game.  She gets along well with the other players and they respect her and her game.”

Butterfield and the rest of the Spartan women next play home against Barry University September 22.

Nathan Krohn can be reached at nathan.krohn@spartans.ut.edu

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