Last Minute Strike By Kruger Seals Double-OT Butler Victory
Indianapolis, Ind. - Junior Molly Kruger drilled a game-winning set piece from 30 yards in the final minute of double-overtime to lead the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory over Loyola on Sunday (Oct. 12) afternoon at the Butler Bowl.
Following a Rambler foul in the 110th minute of play, Kruger was sent to take a free kick 30 yards dead center from the net, and the midfielder delivered with a booming liner over the outstretched arms of the Loyola keeper and just inches below the crossbar to give the Bulldogs the deciding tally.
The goal was Kruger's team-leading eighth of the season.
The win by Butler (9-6-0, 4-1-0 Horizon League) gives Loyola (9-8-0, 4-1-0) its first loss in league play and sends the Bulldogs into a tie for first in the conference standings with the Ramblers.
"I am very proud of the way the team played," head coach Tari St. John said. "They showed a lot of heart and perseverence. This is how you want your team to respond after a tough loss [to Wright State on Friday]. It is a good sign for our program.
"It was a great soccer game between two good teams. Both teams deserved a result , but we were fortunate enough to earn and take advantage of the final opportunity of the game."
Both teams had several opportunities to break the scoreless tie during regulation, but stingy defense inside the 18 yard boxes averted the scoring chances.
Butler finished with a 16-11 edge on shots in the contest, including an 8-4 advantage on shots on goal.
The victory was the Bulldogs' fourth shut-out win in its last six matches and the third of the league campaign.
"The moment of glory for Molly might have been the free kick, but she played 109 minutes of hard fought soccer prior to that," St. John added. "Offensive output is certainly deserved of praise but I am also proud of how hard Molly works when she doesn't have the ball. The backline along with [goalkeeper] Laura Baker also deserve praise."
Butler returns to action on Friday (Oct. 17) when it travels to Milwaukee, Wis., for an 8:00 p.m. ET battle with the Panthers.