October 6, 2009

Butler Continues Road Stretch At Indiana, Valparaiso

STATE ROAD:  Butler will continue a stretch of four consecutive road matches with a non-league contest at Indiana and a Horizon League match at Valparaiso this week.  The Bulldogs will face No. 9 Indiana at Jerry Yeagley Field at 7 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, Oct. 7, before traveling to Valparaiso on Sunday, Oct. 11, for a 1:30 p.m. (ET) match.  Butler (6-1-1, 2-0-1 Horizon League) will be seeking its first win over Indiana since 1995, when the Bulldogs picked up a 1-0 victory at Armstrong Stadium in the NCAA Tournament.  The Hoosiers (5-3-1) have dominated the series against Butler with 18 wins and a tie in 20 previous matches.  Indiana won last year’s meeting at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis, 2-0.  The Bulldogs have fared much better in their state rivalry with Valparaiso (4-5-1), winning 11 of 12 previous matches.  Butler captured last year’s meeting at the Butler Bowl, 2-1 in overtime.                     

Butler is 2-1-1 in road matches this season.
     
ALL EVEN:  The Bulldogs battled defending Horizon League Tournament champ Loyola for 110 minutes in the rain, before settling for a scoreless deadlock.  The two teams combined for just four shots on goal in the double-overtime contest and each team had two saves.  The Bulldogs attempted 15 total shots in the match, while Loyola had 13.  Senior forward Boris Gatzky had both of Butler’s shots on goal in the second half, but both were stopped by the Ramblers.  There were 33 fouls and eight yellow cards issued in the match.

The Bulldogs are unbeaten in their last 14 Horizon League regular season matches.       

FEELING DEFENSIVE:  Butler’s match at Loyola was the team’s fifth shutout in eight outings this season.  The Bulldogs have allowed just four goals all year, with Ohio State being the lone foe to score twice.  Butler currently ranks eighth in the NCAA Division I in goals against average (0.49), and the Bulldogs lead the Horizon League in shutouts and fewest goals allowed.

TWIN STOPPERS:  Butler head coach Kelly Findley has alternated senior goalkeepers Nick Hegeman and Fabian Knopfler with equal success.  Both players have recorded two shutouts this season, and the pair ranks first and second, respectively, in the Horizon League in goals against average.  Hegeman boasts a 0.46 GAA in five matches, while Knopfler has a 0.52 GAA in four contests.  Both saw action in Butler’s 0-0 tie at Loyola.  Hegeman was given the start, but he had to leave the match in the 33rd minute with a slight injury.  Knopfler played the final 77:53 and recorded both of Butler’s saves in the tie.

Nick Hegeman stands sixth on Butler’s all-time list for shutouts (10), while Fabian Knopfler is eighth (7).

POLL WATCH:  Butler continues to draw attention in the national soccer polls.  The Bulldogs are ranked No. 29 by College Soccer News and No. 43 in the Top Drawer Soccer Men’s Tournament 48.  Butler is receiving votes in several other polls. 

BULLDOG BITS:  The Bulldogs currently own Butler’s best eight-match record since 1998, when the team opened the season with a loss and then rattled off nine straight wins on the way to a school-record 19-5-1 campaign and a berth in the NCAA Tournament...Senior Boris Gatzky continues to lead the Horizon League in shots (4.50).  He has moved into 10th place on Butler’s all-time list for shots with 140...Senior Nick Hegeman ranks 11th in the NCAA Division I in goals against average (.0459) and 21st in save percentage (.857)...Butler ranks 10th in Division I in won-lost percentage (.813) and 11th in shutout percentage (.630).  The Bulldogs are 28th in save percentage (.840).