Senior Frank Patano scored a break-away goal 21 minutes into the second half to lead Butler to a 1-0 men's soccer victory over IPFW in the Bulldogs' home-opener at the Butler Bowl on Thursday, Sept. 4. The win lifted Butler to 3-0 for the first time since 2005.
Patano broke a scoreless deadlock at 66:01 on a nifty one-on-one play with IPFW goalkeeper Michael Knitter. The Butler forward took a long pass at midfield from teammate Ben Sippola, beat one IPFW defender and charged a back-tracking Knitter. Patano broke to his right at the top of the box to elude the IPFW goalkeeper and fired a shot from 12 yards out to the back of the goal. It was his fourth goal of the young season and the 28th of his career.
That score proved to be all that Butler needed. For the third straight match, Butler's defense was dominant, and for the third straight contest, the Bulldogs recorded a shutout. The Bulldogs allowed just three shots, all in the second half.
"We're defending really well," said Butler head coach Kelly Findley after the match. "We're committed to what we do and we're staying very disciplined."
"In a college season, sometimes you just have to grind it out, and that was the case today," added the Butler coach.
Junior Nick Hegeman was given his first start in goal this season, and he responded with his second career shutout. But a good share of the credit belonged to Butler's back line, which smothered nearly every offensive attack attempted by the Mastodons.
Butler, led by Patano, out-shot this visitors, 15-3, including four shots on goal. Patano had six total shots and two shots on goal. The Bulldogs had nine corner kicks to a pair for IPFW (0-1-1).
Butler will begin a three-week stretch away from home with a match at Evansville on Sunday, Sept. 7. That match at McCutchan Stadium is slated for 3 p.m. (CT).