Butler Beats Akron In Men’s Soccer Exhibition

Sophomore Zach Steinberger

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler grabbed the lead with a goal in the first minute of the match and then held on with a strong defensive effort to defeat Akron, 1-0, in a spring men's soccer match on Sunday (April 21).  The win wrapped up Butler's spring men 's soccer schedule.

Sophomore Zach Steinberger notched the game-winner for the Bulldogs in the opening minute.  He served the ball to teammate Austin Oldham, who passed it back to the Butler midfielder for the shot.  The goal was the first allowed by Akron in four spring matches.

"It was a great counter-attack," head coach Paul Snape said of the early goal.  "We caught them out of position and Zach made a nice play to get the ball to Austin, who crossed it back to him for the shot."

From there, Butler's defense took center stage.  The Bulldogs held off a program that was ranked No. 1 last fall and has been a regular visitor to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship.  The Zips have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 in each of the past two seasons, after winning the national title in 2010.

"We played against one of the best programs in the nation," noted Snape of the spring opponent.  "They're certainly one of the best teams when it comes to possession, ball movement and defensive pressure.  They're a very tough opponent to play against."

"Defensively, we played really well," added the Butler coach.  "We had a winning mentality and we stayed strong.  We put in a really good effort against a top opponent."

Junior Jon Dawson played the first half in goal for the Bulldogs, before giving way to sophomore Andy Holte in the final period.

"Both had a great presence in the goal, and both had a calming effect on our team," Snape said of his two goalkeepers.

"Our back line and our midfielders did a great job of defending, which was an area we've been looking to improve," added Butler's third-year coach.

Butler will begin fall practice in preparation for the 2013 season in August, and for the second consecutive year, the Bulldogs will be facing a new set of conference foes.  The 2013 campaign will be Butler's first in the new Big East.