Butler, #11 South Florida Tie At Akron Tournament

Butler, #11 South Florida Tie At Akron Tournament
Freshman Jeff Adkins (photo by Brent Smith)

AKRON, OHIO -- Butler rebounded from a first half deficit and stormed back with two second half goals to tie No. 11 South Florida, 2-2, in the first round of the Akron Tournament at FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field on Friday (Sept. 14).  It was Butler's first match against a nationally-ranked opponent this season.

The Bulldogs (1-1-3), who surrendered a pair of goals in a five-minute stretch late in the first half, struck back with two goals in a just over four minutes late in the second half.  Sophomore Chad Rigg tallied the first Butler goal off an assist from sophomore Brycen Howard at 78:15 to cut the South Florida lead in half.

Freshman Jeff Adkins then tied the match at 82:42 with a shot from 15 yards out on the left side of the goal.  It was his team-leading second goal of the season.

"We showed great resilience in coming back against a very good team," said Butler head coach Paul Snape after the double-overtime match.  "We were disappointed at halftime, but we responded tremendously in the second half."

The Bulldogs battled South Florida (4-1-1) to a stalemate through the first 30 minutes of the contest, before Roberto Alterio scored at 32:38 to break the deadlock.  Ricardo Webb then made it 2-0 for the Bulls at 37:53 with an unassisted goal off a Butler turnover.

"We had a game plan that was going well, but we made a couple of mistakes that led to their two goals," noted Snape.  "We defended well for the most part."

Junior goalkeeper Jon Dawson sparked Butler's defense in the second half with several clutch saves, including one from point-blank range late in regulation play.  He finished with five total saves, including one in the first overtime period.

Sophomore Zach Steinberger led Butler's 12-shot attack with four shots, including one on goal.

"I'm proud of our effort today.  We took a step forward and showed that we can play with one of the top teams in the nation," stated Snape.

The Bulldogs will get a second shot at a nationally-ranked squad in the final round of the tournament on Sunday, Sept. 16.  Butler will face #10 St. John's at noon.