For the Butler men’s soccer team, it turns out the best thing to do in Dayton is leave—with a tournament win.
The Bulldogs (3-1-1) grabbed two wins to capture the Dayton Marriott Classic, their first tournament championship of the season.
Butler defeated Western Illinois 3-2 Friday and followed that up with a 2-1 win over Houston Baptist in the tournament final Sunday to win the crown.
“It wasn’t a perfect weekend,” Butler head coach Paul Snape said. “But we executed, and overall it was a positive weekend.”
The Bulldogs finished the tournament strong, outshooting the Huskies (0-5) from Houston Baptist 19-10 in the final match.
Sophomore forward Austin Oldham accounted for both Butler goals and junior defenseman Jordan Burt led the team with six shots in the match.
Oldham got things started three minutes into play when he received a pass from Burt. He settled the ball and found the back of the net from 15 yards out to give Butler the early 1-0 advantage.
A one-score lead would not be enough, however, as the Huskies responded with a goal of their own in the 10th minute.
Freshman midfielder Zach Pierce was able to slip past Butler defenders and tie the game after narrowly putting the ball past the outstretched hand of sophomore goalkeeper Jon Dawson.
The Bulldogs shook off the strike and came out firing in the second half.
It was Oldham again beating the Huskies’ freshman goalkeeper, Kevin Suarez, to give Butler the lead in the 66th minute.
The goal secured the Bulldogs’ second victory in three days.
The Bulldogs’ first win of the tournament came Friday against Western Illinois.
In a game that proved to be a battle throughout, Butler came from behind twice to win the contest.
The Leathernecks (2-3-1) took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute on an unassisted strike from senior midfielder Daniel Lewis.
Lewis’ goal would be the only goal of the first half.
The second half of the match was an entirely different story, however.
Redshirt freshman defenseman Brandon Fricke scored the equalizer for the Bulldogs when he scored off of a rebound in the 54th minute.
The goal provided only temporary relief for Butler, as the Leathernecks scored just eight minutes later to grab a 2-1 advantage.
“It’s definitely frustrating falling behind twice,” Fricke said. “But we just kept fighting and had a never say die attitude.”
It was Oldham who would tie the game a second time, scoring his third goal of the season in the 79th minute off an assist from freshman midfielder Zach Steinberger.
Three minutes later, the Bulldogs would tally the game-winner when sophomore midfielder Adam Glanzer received a pass from Oldham, who put the ball in the back of the net to seal a 3-2 victory for Butler.
The Bulldogs will head south to Kentucky Saturday to take on national powerhouse Louisville.
The Cardinals (4-1-0) started the season ranked No. 1 nationally but fell to No. 7 after a 2-1 loss to North Carolina, the new home of former Butler star Matt Hedges.
Hedges, who transferred to North Carolina from Butler, started all 20 games for the Bulldogs last season and was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year.