October 1, 2010

Golden Goal Leads #14 Butler Past Valparaiso

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- The defensive play of senior Conner Burt helped keep #14 Butler in a position to win its Horizon League showdown with Valparaiso.  His “Golden Goal” with less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime lifted the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory at the Butler Bowl on Friday, Oct. 1.

Burt ended a scoreless deadlock at 108:01 with a shot to the lower right hand corner of the net.  The decisive play developed when senior Ben Sippola delivered a short corner kick, picked up a return ball from the middle of the pack and then served a cross from 20 yards out.  Burt finished the play with a header past Valparaiso goalkeeper Ryan Schwarz.

It was Burt’s first goal of the season!  The game-winner helped the Bulldogs (8-0-0, 3-0-0 Horizon League) remain one of just two unbeaten, untied teams in the nation, while dropping Valparaiso to 6-2-1 (1-2-0 Horizon League).

“Championship teams find a way to win, when it’s not your best game,” said Butler head coach Kelly Findley after the thrilling finish.  “I thought we had spells where we played very well, and then we had some moments where we faded.”

“Valparaiso is a very good team, and they’re very hard to play against,” added the Butler coach.

Burt’s first contribution came at the defensive end of the field, where he and his teammates helped Butler record its fifth shutout in eight matches.  Goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler went the distance in net and picked up his 15th career shutout, while improving to 8-0-0 on the season.  He had three saves in the match, all in the second half.

“Our backs were incredibly steady,” noted Findley.  “Our quality play put us in a position to win the match.”

Butler had a 15-13 advantage in shots, though both teams finished with three shots on goal.  Butler’s first two shots on goal came in the first half.  Senior Jacob Capito paced the Bulldogs with four shots, including one on goal.

The Bulldogs will continue their homestand with a non-league match against Evansville on Tuesday, Oct. 5.  That match is slated for 4 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl.