Bulldogs Win Horizon League Showdown

Bulldogs Win Horizon League Showdown

GREEN BAY WIS. -- An apparent insurance goal by junior Matt Hedges turned out to be the game-winner as Butler held on to defeat host Green Bay, 2-1, in a key Horizon League match at Aldo Santaga Stadium on Friday (Sept. 24).  The victory kept Butler’s record perfect through six matches.

Hedges gave the #17-ranked Bulldogs a 2-0 lead with just over 19 minutes left in the match.  He was in the right place when Green Bay goalkeeper Ryan Wehking deflected a shot from freshman Adekunle Oluyedun, and he finished the play with a short chip shot to the back of the net.  It was his third goal of the season.

That shot took on increased significance minutes later when Green Bay’s JC Banks scored on a header off a pass from teammate Tony Walls to cut Butler’s margin in half.

But the Bulldogs held on with a relentless attack on the offensive end.  Wehking recorded three of his five saves in the match in the final 12 minutes.

The match, the league-opener for both teams, was a rematch of last year’s Horizon League Tournament Championship game.  That contest ended in a 0-0 tie and the Phoenix advanced to the NCAA Tournament in a shootout.

Oluyedun made sure this year’s meeting wouldn’t end in the scoreless column.  He put the Bulldogs on top just under eight minutes into the contest with a shot from the top of the box, after taking a pass from teammate Conner Burt.  It was his third goal of the season.

The 1-0 Butler lead held up for the rest of the first half and for the first 25 minutes of the second period.

Butler’s defense was smothering, until Banks found the late opening.  The Bulldogs out-shot the Phoenix, 14-2, and Banks had his team’s lone shot on goal.  At the offensive end, Butler peppered Wehking with seven shots on goal.  The Bulldogs had a decisive 12-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Senior Kyle Pateros and sophomore Julian Cardona led Butler’s attack with four shots apiece.  Cardona and Oluyedun each had two shots on goal.

The Bulldogs will wrap up their two-match trip to Wisconsin with a second league encounter at Milwaukee on Sunday, Sept. 26.  That match will be played at Concordia University in Mequon, Wis., starting at 3 p.m. (CT).