Butler vs. Fairfield
April 29, 2005
The Game Story:
Freshman Nick Vosburgh's score 57 seconds into overtime gave Butler a Senior Day 12-11 victory over No. 16 Fairfield Friday afternoon (April 29) at Varsity Field in Indianapolis. The win was the first for Butler against a ranked opponent since the Bulldogs knocked off Loyola three seasons ago. Vosburgh had four goals for the Bulldogs, who finish the 2005 campaign at 5-7 (1-4 Great Western Lacrosse League). Fairfield falls to 9-4 (2-1).

"I'm just speechless right now," said Butler coach Stan Ross, as students rushed the field after the overtime goal. "These guys played so hard today and this is the way to send these seniors out. This is a big result for us and we're going to build off this and take this effort into next season."

Fairfield used two man-up goals to take a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. After a Stag score four minutes into the second quarter, Butler got on the board when Grant Albertson scored on the man-advantage. Fairfield's Greg Downing then gave the Stags their largest lead of the game at 4-1 with the first of his four goals at the 9:07 mark of the second period. Three of the Stags' first four goals came in extra-man situations.

Butler then got goals from senior Kyle Tietjen and freshman Cliff Smith to pull within one, 4-3, at the half. The Bulldogs came out strong from the intermission, scoring the first four goals of the second half. Butler enjoyed a 7-4 lead on Vosburgh's third tally of the day with 7:33 to play in the third period. Fairfield, fighting for the GWLL title, wouldn't go away quietly.

The Stags scored two goals to close out the third and the first three goals of the final period to re-take a 9-7 lead with 11:26 to play. Butler then turned to the kids, as freshmen Vosburgh, Albertson and Smith each posted a goal and an assist on the next three Butler scores. Albertson's goal off a Smith assist with 9:18 to play put Butler back in front, 10-9. Junior Phil Brauch then went coast-to-coast for the Bulldogs to push the advantage to two with 8:42 to play.

Fairfield responded with two even-strength goals from Downing over the next three minutes to tie the score at 11. Each team's defense was able to tighten up and turn away the opposition's chances in the waning minutes to send the game into sudden death overtime.

Fairfield won the opening face-off, but the Bulldogs were able to intercept a pass across the middle and headed the other way. Freshman Jason Donati found an open Vosburgh in front of the net for the game-winner 57 seconds into the overtime period.

In addition to Vosburgh's four scores, Smith had three, Albertson and Tietjen each had two and Brauch had a single score. Senior Sam Ashley was solid in goal, making 14 saves, including six in the fourth period and several in 1v1 situations, to take the win. He got a lot of help from his defense, led by senior Mike Marrapese and juniors Steve Forsythe and Gary Gambarani. Marrapese tied for the team-lead with four ground balls in his final Butler action.

Fairfield held the edge in shots (43-31), ground balls (35-27) and face-offs won (15-11), but the Bulldogs were able to convert nine of their 19 shots in the second half and overtime into goals.

Fairfield was 4-of-8 in extra-man situations, while Butler converted three of seven chances.

The Stags, who still control their own destiny in the GWLL race, were led by Downing's four goals. Michael Kruger made 10 saves for Fairfield, but took the loss. The loss was the second straight for the Stags, who had reeled off a school-record seven wins prior to last weekend. They have two GWLL games remaining and, by winning both, would earn the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

The win over No. 16 Fairfield is the first win over a ranked team for Butler since the team defeated No. 5 Loyola, 7-6, April 13, 2002 at the Butler Bowl in Indianapolis.

Friday's game concluded the 2005 season. Seniors Ashley, Marrapese, Tietjen and co-captain Anthony Crimmins were honored prior to the game and all got the starting nod.