Oscar Lomeli (Jalisco, Mexico/ [Bethel (Ind.)]) broke a scoreless tie with his team-best fourth goal of the year in the 82nd minute Wednesday in Indianapolis, Ind., but Butler responded less than three minutes later to send the game into overtime, where the Bulldogs notched the match-winner in the 97th minute to earn a 2-1 victory in Horizon League play.
“We played a very good game today,” said Crusader head coach Mike Avery. “It is frustrating to put ourselves into a position to win on the road and then give them a goal back to tie the game and eventually win, but the good news is that we once again played well on the road.”
Neither team could mount much of an offensive attack in the game’s first 45 minutes, as each side only attempted three shots in the first half. The only one to find its way on frame came off the foot of Butler’s Boris Gatzky in the 20th minute, a shot that was turned aside by Crusader goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck (Coralville, Iowa/Iowa City West).
The offenses started to turn up the heat in the second half, as both teams had multiple attempts to break the scoreless tie, with the best attempt coming by Butler’s Frank Patano, who rang a shot off the crossbar in the 59th minute. Valpo’s J.J. Del Castillo (Mexico City, Mexico) registered the first Crusader shot on frame in the 77th minute, but it was turned away by Butler netminder Nick Hegeman.
Finally, Lomeli got the scoring going in the 82nd minute. A pass from Adrian Ortiz (Berwyn, Ill./Morton West) was deflected to the senior, who found the back of the net from six yards out to put the Crusaders ahead 1-0. But the lead was short-lived, as less than three minutes, the Bulldogs’ Kyle Pateros put one past Zobeck off a corner by Eduardo Garcia to knot up the match.
The game entered the first overtime session tied at one, and neither team could muster any good offensive opportunities early on, as just one corner kick and no shots were attempted in the first six minutes. But Garcia crossed a ball into the box in the 97th minute that Patano touched in from three yards out to give Butler the victory.
Zobeck stopped three shots in net for the Crusaders, while Hegeman stopped one shot to earn the win for Butler (7-1-2, 2-0-1 Horizon). The Bulldogs out-shot Valpo by a 12-8 margin and attempted eight corners to the Crusaders’ three.
“I thought Zobeck did a good job today handling the Butler attackers,” said Avery. “They had a lot of big bodies crashing the box, and he dealt with them very well for the most part. Ultimately, as a team, we have to learn to deal better with set pieces, because that’s how they got their tying goal today. But we’re not going to worry about this one for too long, because we have a quick turnaround this weekend and our focus turns to Loyola now.”
Valparaiso (4-5-2, 0-2-1 Horizon) returns to Horizon League play in Chicago on Sunday, as the Crusaders will take on Loyola at 6 p.m.