Butler men’s soccer vs. No. 9 St. John’s: Beyond the box score

Wilmer Cabrera Jr. looks for an open move during Butler’s 1-0 loss to St. John’s on Sept. 28. The men’s soccer team is now 4-4 on the season. Photo by Chandler Hart / Butler Collegian.

DREW FAVAKEH | STAFF REPORTER | dfavakeh@butler.edu

After an upset win against No. 5 Indiana on Sept. 24, the Butler men’s soccer team could not conjure up more magic against St. John’s, losing 1-0 at home on Sept. 28. Here’s how it happened:

1. One Play

The ball took a weird bounce right onto Tani Oluwaseyi’s feet.

Butler sophomore goalkeeper Gabriel Gjergji was forced to make a decision: stay in the box or run out of the box – trust that his defense recover or cut the head off the attack himself. He chose the latter.

He paid for it; Oluwaseyi took one dribble to the left and he scored in the 35th minute. Junior defender Rhys Myers slid in front of the net, but missed the ball by a hair.

“I think I should have saved that,” Myers said.

But Myers also added that the pick-your-poison situation should not have ever transpired.

“It came from us not winning the first and second balls,” Myers said. “We need to learn how to win the second balls.”

2. An unwanted offensive change

Last game, one of Butler’s two goals was a connection between Jack Haywood and Brandon Guhl. It stemmed from a play to which fans have gotten used to: the long-pass from Haywood.

Tonight, Butler didn’t have the long-pass connection since Haywood missed the game due to an unspecified injury. In its place, was a shorter, give-and-go style offensive scheme.

While Guhl said that it was tough to spark momentum without Haywood, he also said other Bulldogs pack more than enough firepower to mend his absence.

“[Haywood is] one of those guys that has the capability of pinging a 30 to 40-yard ball that breaks defense and give us something different,” Guhl said. “But the guys we had in the middle — Derek, Hemi, Rico, Hicks, they also have that capability.”

Butler maintained possession for a longer period than St. John’s, but never was able to break through. Another downfall in Butler’s loss was the sheer height of the Red Storm’s center backs — 6-foot-3 Ron Alkobi and 6-foot-6 Matt Chandler.

By the end of the game, Butler recorded seven shots and four corner kicks. But sometimes, in sports, it boils down to bad luck.

After the game Butler head coach Paul Snape told his team, most of whom laid on the ground in no particular order, stretching: “We just ran out of time.”

Butler’s next game comes at Providence on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. and will air on Big East Digital Network.


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