Three players contributed to a team season-high scoring total
and Butler polished off Presbyterian, 3-1, to capture the
championship of the adidas Gamecock Classic, hosted by South
Carolina, on Sunday (Sept. 13). The victory was
Butler’s fourth straight to open the season.
Senior Boris Gatzky gave Butler an early 1-0 lead on a penalty kick just under 12 minutes into the first half, and senior Kyle VondenBenken provided the eventual game-winner two minutes later. VondenBenken blasted a shot into the right side of the goal from 18 yards out after taking a pass from teammate Kyle Pateros.
Presbyterian (1-3), after managing just two shots in the first half, finally broke through with just over seven minutes remaining in the match. Zach Sinkular converted a deflected shot to cut Butler’s margin in half. It was the first goal scored against the Bulldogs this season!
But the Bulldogs answered less than a minute later on an unassisted goal by freshman forward Tyler Pollock. That goal gave Butler a new season scoring-high.
Butler, coming of a 1-0 victory over No. 25 South Carolina in the first round of the tournament, pressed the attack early against Presbyterian and launched 10 shots in the first 45 minutes. The Bulldogs finished with a 14-9 advantage in shots, including an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal. Gatzky again led the team with four shots, including three shots on goal.
Senior Nick Hegeman, making his second start in goal this season, finished with three saves.
South Carolina defeated George Mason, 1-0, in the tournament’s second match on Sunday. Both team finished with a 1-1 record in the four-team event. The tournament crown was the third for the Bulldogs in four seasons under head coach Kelly Findley.
Gatzky was named the Offensive MVP of the tournament, and he was
one of four Butler players named to the All-Tournament team.
Also selected from Butler were sophomore Matt Hedges, who scored
the game-winner against South Carolina, VondenBenken and
Butler will return to action on Friday, Sept. 18, with a match at Ohio State. That contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET).
adidas Gamecock Classic All-Tournament Team
Boris Gatzky, Butler (Offensive MVP)
Matt Hedges, Butler
Kyle VondenBenken, Butler
Kyle Pateros, Butler
Tyler Ruthven, South Carolina (Defensive MVP)
Vance Benson, South Carolina
Blake Brettschneider, South Carolina
Eric Zuehsow, George Mason
Richard Edgar, George Mason
Juan Ocampo, Presbyterian
Zach Sinkuler, Presbyterian