After being on the winning side of four straight matches, the Butler men’s soccer team suffered a 4-0 loss to defending national champion Louisville on Saturday.
The Cardinals (7-1), who boast a No. 7 ranking nationally, showed they were comfortable playing at home in a non-conference game.
“Louisville is clearly one of the best teams in the nation,” Butler head coach Paul Snape said. “They’re very sharp, they control the ball, they have great flow and rhythm, and they’re very tight defensively.”
The Cardinals got their first goal in the 19th minute when redshirt senior Mark Knight deposited a header into the net for a 1-0 Louisville lead.
Minutes later, the Cardinals boosted their advantage to 2-0 on a goal from junior Michael Roman.
“We have to get better defensively, and we have to keep the ball and use it wisely,” Snape said.
A first half struggle that saw Butler outshot 12-3 continued in the second half for the Bulldogs.
Louisville juniors Buck Tufty and Chase Rodgers added goals two and a half minutes apart to hand the Cardinals a commanding 4-0 lead.
The Cardinals dominated the Bulldogs in shots (24-7) and shots on goal (7-1) as they controlled the offensive attack throughout the contest.
“Some of our guys had never played in a game with such high tempo, and that will help us as we move forward,” Snape said.
Butler freshman Zach Steinberger and sophomore Adekunle Oluyedun each had two shots for the Bulldogs, with Oluyedun responsible for the only shot on goal.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jon Dawson had three saves in a full game of action but went home with his second loss of the season.
“We played well for a 20-minute stretch in the second half,” Snape said. “We were creating chances, and if you came in at that time and didn’t look at the scoreboard, you would have thought the match was even.”
The Bulldogs will end their six-match road trip on Wednesday against Indiana University—Purdue University Fort Wayne.
After that, they will return to the friendly confines of the Butler Bowl for their Horizon League opener versus Milwaukee-Wisconsin on Saturday at 5 p.m.
The Panthers (3-4-0) lost their only road game so far this season 4-1 to IPFW.
Last year, Butler traveled to Concordia University to take on Milwaukee. There, the Bulldogs walked away with a 2-0 shutout victory.
Despite the win, the Panthers still lead the lifetime series 15-11-1.