MEN’S SOCCER: Buerger’s penalty kick gives Tops win at U of L in 2OT

Danny Schoenbaechler

Ben Buerger stood 12 yards away from a gigantic Hilltopper win.

As a large contingent of Western fans looked on, the senior prepared for his most important shot of the season.

Buerger, a midfielder, slid a shot into the lower left corner of the net to give Western?s men?s soccer team a 1-0 double overtime win last night at Cardinal Park in Louisville.

?It was awesome,? said sophomore defender Scott DeGaris, a Louisville native. ?I think we had more fans than they did.?

Western (5-2-1) was led by five Louisville natives in the starting lineup.

Buerger, one of the Western starters from Louisville, finished the winning penalty kick with three minutes left in the second overtime.

The Toppers were awarded a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box when freshman defender Clay McMillan quickly played a pass to sophomore midfielder Justin Goodman. As Goodman attempted to cut past a defender, he was fouled.

The always controversial penalty-kick set the stage for Buerger?s heroics.

?We just flat out wanted it more than they did,? Western coach David Holmes said.

The shutout is Western?s third of the season. But the Toppers had given up three goals in each of their last three games. The Toppers were 0-2-1 during that stretch.

?This was our best defensive performance of the season,? Holmes said. ?We are maturing as a team and really playing well.?

DeGaris said he thinks the win came at a great time.

?It gives us confidence,? he said. ?And the shutout will really give the defense confidence.?

The game was Western?s sixth consecutive road game. The team will finally come home tomorrow night when Memphis comes to town.

?This game and the Memphis game are a good prelude into the conference games,? Holmes said.

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