Valparaiso played right with #14/15 Butler in Indianapolis on Friday afternoon, forcing the game into extra time scoreless, but the Bulldogs struck for the golden goal in the 109th minute as the Crusaders fell 1-0.
The Bulldogs held a 5-1 shot advantage over the Crusaders in the opening 45 minutes, putting two shots on frame while Valpo couldn't get any on goal. Crusader goalkeeper Ryan Schwarz (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) made a pair of saves in the opening stanza to keep the game scoreless into halftime.
The second half saw Valpo turn up the offensive pressure, unleashing eight shots in the period, including a trio on goal. Kevin Miller (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) and Jake Freisinger (Saint John, Ind./Lake Central) both got shots on frame during the second 45 minutes, while Stefan Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson [College of Lake County/Marquette]) put a header on goal in the 88th minute, but Butler (8-0-0, 3-0-0 Horizon) goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler stopped all three attempts. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs could muster no shots on goal in the second half to threaten the Crusaders as the game headed to overtime.
Both teams attempted a pair of shots in the first 10 minutes of extra time, but neither side got a try on goal. Then, in the second overtime period, Butler took advantage of a corner kick by Ben Sippola with under two minutes to play, as Connor Burt got his head on the ball and headed it into the lower-right corner of the goal for the game's only tally.
Valparaiso (6-2-1, 1-2-0 Horizon) continues the weekend Horizon League road swing Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders travel to Chicago to take on Loyola. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m., with live stats available for the fixture at www.valpoathletics.com.