DAYTON, OHIO -- Sophomore Austin Oldham gave the Bulldogs the lead and then the win with a pair of goals in Butler's 2-1 victory over Houston Baptist in the final round of the Dayton Marriott Classic on Sunday (Sept. 11). The Bulldogs (3-1-1) finished the tournament with an unbeaten record for the third time, while capturing the Classic title.
Oldham, who scored three goals in the tournament, gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead just three minutes into the match with a shot to the right corner of the net from 15 yards out. The scoring play was set-up by a pass from Adam Glanzer to Jordan Burt, who found Oldham open in the middle.
But the lead didn't last long. Just over six minutes later, Zach Pierce of Houston Baptist slipped a shot past Butler goalkeeper Jon Dawson to knot the score.
"We stressed to the team in the pregame the importance of starting strong, playing good defense and working the ball, and we got that early score after a couple of nice passes," said Butler head coach Paul Snape after the match.
"But we lost our concentration and they beat us on the flank to tie the game."
The Bulldogs had several other good scoring opportunities in the first half but couldn't come up with the go-ahead goal. That changed 20 minutes into the second half when freshman Zach Steinberger found Oldham with a long pass on the right side, and the Butler scoring leader beat Houston Baptist goalkeeper Kevin Suarez with a shot to the far post.
Oldham's fifth goal of the season proved to be the game-winner. Butler continued to fire at the Houston Baptist net, but Suarez, who finished with eight saves, kept his team in striking distance. The Bulldogs finished with a 19-9 advantage in shots and a 10-3 edge in shots on goal.
"We used a lot of players today and it was a good team win," noted Snape. "It was a good weekend. We showed a never-say-die spirit and an ability to come back. I think we'll be a dangerous team going forward."
Burt led the Bulldogs with six shots in the match, including a pair of shots on goal. Oldham (left) had four shots, including three on goal, and Glanzer finished with four shots, including one on goal. Eight different Butler players had a shot in the match.
Dawson, getting his second start in goal this season, finished with two saves, while picking up the win.
Four Butler players were recognized at the conclusion of the Dayton Marriott Classic. Oldham was named the Offensive MVP of the tournament, while teammate Brandon Fricke was chosen as the tourney's Defensive MVP. Steinberger and Justin Sass joined Oldham and Fricke on the 11-player All-Tournament Team.
The Bulldogs will continue their current six-match road stretch with a match at Louisville on Saturday, Sept. 17. That contest at Cardinal Park is slated to start at 7 p.m.