Sophomore Matt Hedges scored less than three minutes into the
match and freshman Julian Cardona nailed the game-winner 70 minutes
later to lift Butler to a 2-1 victory over host IUPUI in a
non-league men’s soccer match at Kuntz Stadium on Wednesday
(Oct. 14). The victory was Butler’s third straight and
ninth in 11 outings.
Hedges gave Butler (9-1-1) a quick advantage with a shot from six yards out at 2:48. Senior Kyle VondenBenken started the scoring play with a pass to senior Boris Gatzky, who dropped a shot cross to Hedges. The goal was the fourth of the season for Hedges, matching Gatzky’s team-high total.
The lead didn’t last long. IUPUI (1-8-3) answered less than three minutes later on a header by Michael Wignot at 5:03. Ian Munro and Tyler Fritcha picked up assists on the match-tying goal.
The match remained tied through the rest of the first half and for nearly 30 minutes of the second period, despite a barrage of shots by the Bulldogs. Cardona finally broke the deadlock with a shot from the left side, after taking a pass from Gatzky. The goal was his second of the season and his second game-winner.
Butler attempted 20 shots in the match, including five shots on goal. Junior Michael Clayton led the way with a career-high seven shots, while Cardona added four attempts. The Bulldogs had eight shots in the first half and 12 in the second.
Senior Fabian Knopfler went the distance in goal and improved to 5-1-1 on the season. He had two saves, both coming in the final period.
The Bulldogs, unbeaten in their last six matches, will have a week off before returning to action with a home match against DePaul on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Bulldogs Climb In National Polls
Butler's current unbeaten streak and wins over a pair of "Top 25" teams has helped boost the Bulldogs in the national soccer polls. The Bulldogs stand at No. 18 in the Soccer America poll and at No. 24 in the Soccer Times national rankings. Butler is No. 40 in the Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48. The Bulldogs, who have wins over No. 14 Indiana and No. 25 South Carolina this season, are currently ranked eighth in the Great Lakes Region and 11th in the RPI.