Late Goal Lifts Indiana Over Butler

INDIANAPOLIS, IND, -- Freshman Eric Zavaleta scored with just over five minutes remaining to end a scoreless deadlock and lift No. 18 Indiana to a 1-0 victory over Butler in a non-league match at the Butler Bowl on Wednesday, Oct. 12.  The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 5-5-2 on the season.

Indiana's Chris Estridge started the decisive scoring play with a charge up the left side of the field.  He found Zavaleta on the left side of the goal, and the first-year forward turned a fired a shot from eight yards out to the upper right corner of the net.  It was his fifth goal of the season.

"It was a great turn by the Zavaleta kid," said Butler head coach Paul Snape.  "It was a good finish.  I thought we were going to get to 90 and take them to overtime."

The match certainly looked to be headed to overtime.  The two teams battled to a standoff for more than 84 minutes.  Indiana (7-3-2) pressed the attack early in the first half, but the Bulldogs picked up the pace midway through the first period and played evenly with their nationally-ranked foe.  Indiana held a slim 7-5 advantage in shots in the first 45 minutes, but the Bulldogs had a 2-1 edge in shots on goal.

"I thought the first half, they were a team that came out and they were all over us," said Snape.  "But with about 20 minutes to go in the first half we made a couple of changes, and we actually got the game back in our favor.  We had momentum going into halftime."  

The Hoosiers had an 11-3 advantage in shots in the second half, including a 3-2 edge in shots on goal.  Butler goalkeeper Jon Dawson stopped Indiana's first four shots on goal, including two in the second half, while Indiana goalkeeper Luis Soffner turned away all three Butler shots on goal.

Sophomore Austin Oldham led the Bulldogs with four total shots, including one on goal.  Junior Justin Sass and freshman Thor Kellin had Butler's other two shots on goal.

The Bulldogs played much of the match without two of their top three scorers.  Freshman Zach Steinberger sat out the entire match with injury, while sophomore Adekunle Oluyedun played less than half the match after leaving the field with injury twice.

"I'm extremely proud of the boys.  They put a great effort in against a very good team.  Indiana came in with three losses, but they have so much quality," continued Snape.  "At the same time, there's a disappointment to lose.  We have high standards here."

The match was played in front of 3,343 fans, the largest crowd to see a Butler soccer match in the Butler Bowl.

"It was a great showcase for the state of Indiana.  I'd love to have a crowd like that all the time," stated Snape.

The Bulldogs will return to Horizon League play on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Green Bay.  The league match is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. (ET).