November 5, 2011

Wright State Ends Butler’s Season

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Sophomore Will McAteer scored off a header just under 24 minutes into the match and that tally proved to be enough to carry visiting Wright State to a 1-0 victory over Butler in a crucial match at the Butler Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 5.  The loss ended Butler's bid for a berth in the 2011 Horizon League Men's Soccer Championship.

McAteer's game-winner came off a corner kick by Gustav Svensson, who served a perfect ball to the middle of the box.  McAteer deflected the ball to the upper right corner past Butler goalkeeper Jon Dawson for his third goal of the season.

"We shouldn't have given up the corner kick.," said Butler head coach Paul Snape after the match.  "We lost concentration on defense for a moment. Give Wright State credit. A few years ago, they lost a lot of matches but they have a lot of fight in them."

The shot by McAteer was one of just three attempts by the Raiders in the first half.  The Bulldogs countered with a persistent attack, but the home team couldn't slip a shot past Wright State goalkeeper Craig Feehan.  Butler, which had two shots hit the crossbar and a third hit the post, had a 9-3 advantage in shots in the first half and a 17-8 advantage in shots for the game.  The Bulldogs had nine shots on goal for the match, while Wright State had just four.

Sophomore Austin Oldham led the Bulldogs with four shots, including three on goal, while freshman Chad Rigg had four shots, one of which was on goal.  Sophomore Tyler Pollock and freshman Zach Steinberger each had two shots on goal and three total shots.

Feehan finished with saves, including seven in the first 45 minutes, while Dawson had one save in the first half and two in the second.

The Bulldogs (7-8-3, 2-4-2 Horizon League) were bidding for one of the six spots in the Horizon League Tournament, but needed a win or a tie to clinch a berth.  Wright State (10-6-2, 5-2-1 HL) wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the league tournament, which will be hosted by Valparaiso.

Prior to the match with Wright State, Butler paid tribute to seniors JC Aikenhead, Lucas Eichhorn, Dustin Mares and Randy Richter, plus senior manager Jack Morlock.  That group has been part of a remarkable period in Butler's soccer history, helping the Bulldogs to a 50-15-12 record, two Horizon League regular season titles, one Horizon League Tournament championship and two trips to the NCAA Tournament over four years.

"In my first year at Butler, I had the chance to work with fantastic, great kids," noted Snape. "Off the field, it's the best group I've been a part of. They're honest, caring and quality kids. However, we are a little disappointed with the result right now. We will work very hard and rebound and I know we'll have a good team next year."