The Canisius College men’s soccer team lost its season opener to Butler on Friday afternoon, falling 2-0 in the first game of the Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic in Columbus, Ohio.
“We wanted to test ourselves early in the season against top competition and got that in playing Butler,” said Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane. “I thought we defended well a majority of the game and limited the opposition’s chances but we made a couple of mistakes and a good team is going to punish you when you do that.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the effort our team put in and thought we competed very well, especially in the second half. Now, we’ve got to learn from today, put it behind us and look forward to Sunday when we meet another good team in UC Davis.”
The Bulldogs netted the first goal of the game in the 26th minute of play. Vincent Mitchell finished a chance from the corner of the six-yard box to give Butler an advantage it would not relinquish.
Butler then doubled its edge in the 47th minute of play with a goal shortly after the halftime break. Jeff Adkins had his shot from eight yards out deflect off the post and into the net for the 2-0 lead.
Canisius raised its level of play in the final 40-plus minutes and played an even match with the Bulldogs. However, the Griffs just missed on a number of chances as Butler held on for the 2-0 victory.
Butler outshot the Griffs, 10-5, in the win and held a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Junior Andrew Coughlin recorded three saves in his Canisius debut, while Eric Dick stopped one shot to earn the victory for the Bulldogs.
Canisius continues play at the Wolstein Classic on Sunday with a contest against UC Davis. Game time is slated for noon.
Game Notes: Canisius and Butler were playing for the first time … The Griffs drop to 1-2-1 in season openers in four years under McGrane … Five Canisius freshmen saw their first collegiate action in the opener with Mitch Cancilla and Lucian Preis starting in their first career game.