The University of Evansville men’s soccer team battled, but was unable to overcome an early goal as the Aces fell to Butler, 1-0, on Tuesday evening in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“The guys never stopped competing. We gave everything we had until the final whistle,” said Aces head coach Marshall Ray. “It is difficult to put yourself in a hole early and have to dig out against a very good team like Butler.”
The lone goal of the match came just 12 minutes in as Butler connected a string of passes leaving Joey Harvey alone in the box in a one-on-one situation. Harvey dribbled and finished to give Butler the 1-0 advantage.
Following a bit of a slow start in the opening 15 minutes, the Aces found their rhythm midway through the first half. Evansville recorded its first shot in the 29th minute and proceeded to fire four more with a pair on-goal.
In the second half, the intensity continued for the Aces as UE came close to equalizing on three separate occasions in the final six minutes of the match. With just 18 seconds remaining, senior midfielder Ian McGrath sprinted into the box for what would be the Aces’ final chance. McGrath unleashed a shot that sent Butler goalkeeper Eric Dick sprawling to the ground to make a sve, preserving the 1-0 win for the Bulldogs.
Butler out-shot the Aces, 19-10, with an 8-4 advantage on shots on-goal.
McGrath led the way for the Aces with four shots, two on-goal, while freshman forward Sam Bonano took a pair of shots with one on-goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Frederik Reimer helped preserve the deficit at just a goal, making six saves between the posts.
“I thought we created some chances late in the match and had a lot of energy and effort to get numbers forward,” said Ray on the Aces’ late-match push. “We now turn our focus to Sunday and prepare ourselves for the coming matches.
The Aces return to Arad McCutchan Stadium on Sunday for a 2 p.m. meeting with Eastern Illinois.