No. 11 Indiana Tops Butler
BLOOMINGTON, IND. -- Eriq Zavaleta broke a scoreless deadlock midway through the first half and Nikita Kotlov added a second half score to lift No. 11 to a 2-0 victory over visiting Butler in a state match at Armstrong Stadium on Tuesday (Oct. 16) evening. The match was Butler's final non-conference test of the season.
Zavaleta, the leading scorer in the Big Ten, gave the Hoosiers (10-2-2) the upper hand just under 29 minutes into the match. Kotolov started the scoring play with a long throw-in, and Zavaleta finished with a header past Butler goalkeeper Jon Dawson. It was the 13th goal of the season for the Indiana sophomore.
Kotlov added an insurance goal just over seven minutes into the second half with a shot to the top of the net off of a pass from Jacob Bushue.
"We performed well for most of the game," said Butler head coach Paul Snape after the match. "Their first goal was a very good finish by a quality player. We had a little defensive breakdown on their second goal, but we defended well for most of the game."
Butler (3-6-4), coming off a weekend split in the Atlantic 10 Conference, actually out-shot the Hoosiers in the first half, 6-4. Indiana, unbeaten in the Big 10, grabbed the upper hand in the final period and finished with a 15-11 edge in shots. The Bulldogs had a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Senior Tyler Pollock led the Bulldogs with three shots on the night, while juniors Austin Oldham and Blake Leyden each added a pair of attempts.
"We're competing. We're playing well for the most part," added Snape "We just have to find a way to get it in the net."
Dawson finished with five saves to key Butler's defensive effort, while Luis Soffner finished with two saves for the Hoosiers.
Butler will return to conference play with a pair of matches in Philadelphia, Pa., this weekend. The Bulldogs will visit Temple on Friday, Oct. 19, for a 7 p.m. (ET) contest and then travel to Saint Joseph's on Sunday, Oct. 21, for a 1 p.m. match.