Late Goal Lifts #22 Charlotte Past Bulldogs
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Jennings Rex scored a break-away goal with just over ten minutes remaining in the contest to lift #22 Charlotte to a 1-0 victory over Butler in an Atlantic 10 Conference match at the Butler Bowl on Sunday. The match was Butler's final 2012 home contest.
Rex took advantage of a nice play by teammate Giuseppe Gentile, who stole the ball at midfield with a slide tackle. The loose ball rolled forward and Rex picked it up and charged toward the Butler goal. He fired a shot from 20 yards out, and the attempt found the left side of the Butler net. It was the eighth goal of the season for the Charlotte senior.
"They forced us, we made a mistake in the back, and they capitalized on it," said Butler head coach Paul Snape of the game-winning shot. "(Rex) got to the top of the box and made a good finish as well."
The two teams, battling cold and windy conditions, played to a standoff for nearly 80 minutes. Butler (5-7-5, 3-4-1 A-10) had a distinct advantage in the first half, out-shooting the visitors, 12-2, But the nationally-ranked 49ers took the upper hand in the second half with a 9-4 edge in shots. Charlotte (12-2-3, 6-1-1 A-10), last year's national runner-up,We had six shots on goal after intermission.
"They're a very good team. Very direct. They cause you problems by going direct, putting it in the channels. They're not a possession team, but they know what to do," noted Snape. "I thought we did a very good job in the first half dealing with it. It helped that we had the wind. In the second half, they used it to their advantage, and they pinned us back a little more than we would have liked."
Junior Blake Leyden led the Bulldogs with four shots, while junior Austin Oldham, sophomore Zach Steinberger and freshman Jeff Adkins each added three attempts. Oldham had Butler's lone shot-on-goal.
Junior goalkeeper Jon Dawson finished with five saves in the contest, all in the second half.
Prior to the match, Butler honored four senior members of the squad facing their final home contest. Recognized for their contributions to the Butler program were players Justin Sass, Tyler Pollock and Jared Isenthal, plus student manager Jack Morlock. The four helped Butler through the biggest transition in the program's history, the school's move to the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Butler, battling for a spot in the A-10 Conference Tournament, will close out the regular season at Saint Louis on Friday, Nov. 2. That match will start at 4 p.m. (CT).