Men’s soccer: Butler fights for position

The Butler men’s soccer team remained in control of its Horizon League tournament fate with a 3-1 victory over Detroit on Saturday.

Three different players scored for the Bulldogs (7-7-2, 2-3-1), and they kept the Titans (5-10-1, 1-5-1) off the scoreboard until the 86th minute in what proved to be a crucial conference win.

With the victory, Butler remains tied for sixth place in the conference standings with Illinois-Chicago.
Butler struck early against Detroit when sophomore forward Austin Oldham scored on a free kick in the 13th minute.

It would not take long for the Bulldogs to add an insurance goal.

Freshman forward Chad Rigg received the pass from Oldham on the left side and fired it past Titan sophomore goalkeeper Anthony Shepherd.

It was Rigg’s first collegiate goal and gave Butler a 2-0 lead just less than 20 minutes into the game.

In the 43rd minute, Butler redshirt freshman defenseman Brandon Fricke received a red card, meaning he had to sit out the rest of the match, and the Bulldogs were forced to play with only 10 men in the second half.

“It was unfortunate because [Fricke] has been playing really well lately,” coach Paul Snape said.

Freshman midfielder Zach Steinberger added a goal in the 78th minute to all but seal the game.

Oldham and Rigg led Butler with three shots each, while sophomore  goalkeeper Jon Dawson recorded six saves in net for the Bulldogs.

“We are confident in anyone who plays defender or goalkeeper,” Dawson said. “I was seeing the ball well, and our defenders were giving me windows so I could see.”

The win came three days after Butler fell to Cleveland State 2-1 at the Butler Bowl.

The Vikings (8-8-1, 4-2-1) scored two goals in a 12-minute span and shut Butler’s offense down to pick up the win.

Butler will take on Valparaiso on Wednesday and Wright State on Saturday. The latter match is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Butler Bowl.

Butler will need to maintain a top-six standing in the conference in order to play in the Horizon League tournament.

“Everything that we have prepared for has got us in this position right now,” Snape said.  “If everything comes together, I totally believe we can win both games.”

The Cleveland State Vikings (9-5-3, 5-0-1) and the Wright State Raiders (8-6-2, 4-2-1) are currently first and second in the Horizon League, respectively.

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