The Butler men’s soccer team will look to stay undefeated when it travels to Bloomington, Ind., to face Indiana tonight.
Head coach Kelly Findley said he is ready to face the challenge the Hoosiers (8-4-2) pose.
“We’re playing very well,” Findley said. “We’re not planning on doing anything different than we’ve already done; just going out, sticking to our game plan and enjoying ourselves.”
The seventh-ranked Bulldogs improved to 13-0-1 after defeating Loyola 2-1 on Sunday.
After an hour rain delay, freshman forward Austin Oldham sent a shot into the back right corner of the net off a pass from senior midfielder Kyle Pateros in the 22nd minute. The goal was Oldham’s third of the season.
“I thought our guys did a great job today jumping on top of Loyola early.” Findley said. “They also responded well to their efforts later in the game.”
During the 52nd minute, a pass downfield from Oldham reached senior mid-fielder Ben Sippola, creating a two-on-one breakaway in front of the net. Sippola crossed the ball in front of Loyola junior goalkeeper Peter McKeown and Pateros sent it to the back of the net.
The Ramblers (3-9-2, 3-2-1 HL) weren’t ready to surrender just yet. Their attack intensified, out-shooting the Bulldogs 9-3 over the final 45 minutes of play.
In the 70th minute, Loyola junior forward Scott Waggoner scored their lone goal from six yards out.
Findley said he recognized what led to the goal.
“I was a little frustrated,” he said. “We need to do a better job of maintaining possession in their half and capitalizing on some chances.”
This gives Findley and the Bulldogs a point of focus for practice this week, approaching their game against Indiana.
“It’s just going to require hard work, staying focused, not ever taking any plays off or days off, and just recognizing that we have bigger goals than just winning one game at a time,” Findley said.
Although they are still unbeaten, the Bulldogs had to settle for their first tie against IUPUI last Wednesday.
“I thought we threw away the first half, or at least the first 35 minutes,” Findley said. “It just reminded them that you can’t do that with any team.
“You can’t come out and let them hang around.”
After 90 minutes of play and two periods of overtime, the game remained scoreless, with neither team able to muster a point.
The Bulldogs will square off against Indiana at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind., at 7 p.m. tonight.