[BUTLER MEN] No. 8 Butler is the only unbeaten and untied team left in the NCAA Division I ranks, but the Bulldogs escaped a close call on Sunday when they edged Horizon League rival UIC, 2-1, on a penalty kick in overtime.
Senior Ben Sippola buried the spot kick for his team-leading sixth goal of the season after leading a 3-on-1 breakaway that led to the penalty. Sippola had the ball in the center and fed left to freshman Austin Oldham, who was taken down by a UIC defender in the area.
"There was no question it was a penalty, we put ourselves in a good position and made the play," Butler coach Kelly Findley said. "I'm really happy for our seniors. They all stepped up. Ben making the shot, Brett Heinz making a great, game-saving tackle and Conner Burt was making plays."
German graduate student Fabian Knopfler has given up only five goals for the Bulldogs (10-0-0 overall and 4-0-0 in league play).
Butler has tapped into Indiana's strong youth programs. Sippola, Oldham and Burt were among eight starters from the Hoosier State.
The Bulldogs won the 2009 Horizon regular-season title but fell to Wisconsin-Green Bay in the tournament final on penalty kicks. They received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and were seeded No. 12 but lost to Indiana, 1-0, in the second round.