Sophomore Ben Sippola scored in the 42nd minute to give Butler its first lead and spark the 21st-ranked Bulldogs to a 2-1 non-league victory over Bradley at Shea Stadium in Peoria, Ill., on Tuesday (Oct. 28). The win lifted Butler to 12-2-3 on the season.
Sippola was in the right place at the right time for the game-winner. He broke a 1-1 tie with a deflected shot into the upper left corner of the net. Junior Boris Gatzky was awarded an assist on the goal. It was Sippola's third goal of the season and his second game-winner.
The host Braves (6-9-1) jumped in front in the 21st minute on a goal by Graham Stockdale. Butler answered 13 minutes later when Gatzky dribbled through the defense and blasted a shot past Bradley goalkeeper Kyle Orne. The goal was Gatzky's third of the season.
The two teams were scoreless in the second half, but both had opportunities. Butler had three shots on goal in the final 45 minutes, while Bradley had two.
Junior Nick Hegeman went the distance in goal for the Bulldogs and improved to 9-1-3 on the season. He had three saves in the match, boosting his season save total to 41.
The victory lifted the Bulldogs into a tie for fifth place on Butler's single season list for men's soccer victories. The 12 wins are the most for Butler since 2004, when the Bulldogs finished 13-6-1.
Butler will return to Horizon League play for its final two regular season matches, beginning with a trip to Detroit on Friday, Oct. 31. The Bulldogs will return to the Butler Bowl for their final regular season match against Cleveland State on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 2:30 p.m.