The Butler men’s soccer team fell 1-0 to Indiana surrounded by a record-breaking crowd Wednesday at the Butler Bowl.
Attendance was announced at 3,343, a Bowl record for soccer. The enthusiastic crowd was a mix of fans displaying both cream and crimson and blue and white.
Butler coach Paul Snape said the attendance figure was exciting.
“It’s a great showcase for the state of Indiana,” he said. “I’d love to have a crowd like that all the time.”
Indiana coach Todd Yeagley said the Hoosiers (7-3-2, 2-1-0) were expecting a large crowd, especially after the Bulldogs’ 2-1 upset last season in double overtime on the Hoosiers’ home turf.
“We know no matter where Butler or IU is in the season records, this is going to be a big game,” he said.
The scoreless first half was marked by tight back and forth action and aggressive play that sent Butler sophomore forward Adekunle Oluyedun to the bench more than once.
Butler sophomore forward Austin Oldham, who led the Bulldogs (5-5-2, 1-1-1) with four shots, fired a shot that went just wide of the net in the 36th minute.
Snape said the game came back in the Bulldogs’ favor at the end of the half, but they could not maintain that momentum after halftime.
“We stopped passing the ball when we got it back,” Snape. “By going forward every time, we lost it.”
Hoosier freshman forward Eriq Zavaleta scored the only goal in the 84th minute off an assist from senior defender Chris Estridge.
The late goal ended Butler sophomore goalkeeper Jon Dawson’s shutout streak, which lasted just more than 125 minutes, dating back to the conclusion of Butler’s loss to Indiana-Purdue Indianapolis.
The strike also denied the Bulldogs any hope of extra time.
“I thought we were going to ninety [minutes] and then take it in to overtime, and we might have had a chance,” Snape said.
Tense steals and back and forth action near the end of regulation was not enough to garner the Bulldogs a goal, but Snape said the game showed the Bulldogs are contenders.
“If the boys can play like this in the remaining six games of the season, and we can bring out some more quality, I actually think we could win the Horizon [League],” he said.
Butler will next visit Green Bay at 8 p.m. on Saturday.