No. 21 Butler was spooked for more than 60 minutes, before seniors Frank Patano and Eduardo Garcia stepped up to lead the Bulldogs to a 3-1 victory in a Halloween afternoon men's soccer match at Detroit. The Horizon League victory lifted the Bulldogs to 13-2-3 on the season and 5-0-2 in league action and set the stage for a championship showdown at the Butler Bowl on Sunday (Nov. 2).
Detroit (4-11-1, 1-5-1 Horizon League) threw a genuine scare into the Bulldogs, who are battling for the league title. The match was scoreless through the first 45 minutes, before the Titans jumped on top at 60:01 on a goal by Sam Seppo.
The lead last just under three minutes before Patano tied the match with his tenth goal of the season. Garcia passed the ball to sophomore Brett Heinz, who crossed to an unmarked Patano. The Butler scoring leader then blasted a low shot past Detroit goalkeeper Bryan Kloss at 62:33.
Butler junior Boris Gatzky notched the game-winner at 81:03 on a rebound of a shot by Garcia. It was the fourth goal of the season for Gatzky and his third game-winner.
Patano then added an insurance goal just under three minutes later off Garcia's third assist of the match.
Garcia tied the second-highest single match assist total in Butler men's soccer history and boosted his league-leading season assist total to 12. The 12 assists ties Butler's single season record, set by Scott Lawler in 1989, Butler's first season of intercollegiate men's soccer!
Butler finished with a 17-14 advantage in shots and a 6-4 edge in shots on goal. Garcia led the way with six shots, while Gatzky added four. Butler goalkeeper Nick Hegeman finished with two saves, and the Bulldogs were awarded one team save.
The win sets up a title shot for the Bulldogs at home. Butler hosts league-leading Cleveland State at 2:30 p.m. (ET). The Bulldogs will take the title and the No. 1 seed in the Horizon League Tournament with a win. The match will be "Senior Day," honoring Butler seniors David Giarratana, Joe Wienman, Patano and Garcia.