Butler Begins Three-Match Homestand

Butler Begins Three-Match Homestand

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HOME RUN:  Butler, unbeaten in its last six outings and coming off a string of four consecutive road matches, will begin its longest homestand of the season with a non-league match against DePaul on Wednesday (Oct. 21).  The Bulldogs (9-1-1, 3-0-1 Horizon League) will square off against the visitors from Chicago at 4 p.m. (ET) in the Butler Bowl.  Butler has posted consecutive 2-1 victories over #14 Indiana, Valparaiso and IUPUI in its last three outings.  The three straight wins are one shy of Butler’s longest winning streak this season.  DePaul enters Wednesday’s match with a 7-6-1 overall record and a 4-4 mark in the Big East.  The Bulldogs will return to Horizon League play on Saturday, Oct. 24, with a 4 p.m. match against Detroit.  Butler will close out its homestand on Tuesday, Oct. 27, with a non-league match against Oakland.                       

Butler is currently ranked third in the NCAA Division I in winning percentage (.864).
NATIONAL LOOK:  Butler’s recent winning streak has helped the Bulldogs climb in the national soccer polls.  The Bulldogs are ranked No. 16 by Soccer America, No. 21 by College Soccer News and Soccer Times, and No. 40 in the Top Drawer Soccer Men’s Tournament 48.  Butler has moved into the National Soccer Coaches Association of American national poll at No. 23, and the Bulldogs have moved up to a tie for sixth in the Great Lakes Region.  The Bulldogs stand at No. 11 in the RPI.       

LAST TIME OUT:  Goals by sophomore Matt Hedges and freshman Julian Cardona came 70 minutes apart and lifted Butler to a 2-1 road victory over non-league foe IUPUI.  Hedges scored less than three minutes into the match to give Butler a quick advantage, but the host Jaguars answered minutes later.  That set the stage for a match-long deadlock, before Cardona nailed the game-winner at 74:17 with his second goal of the season.  The Bulldogs attempted 20 shots in the match, including five shots on goal.

VICTORY ASSIST:  Forward Boris Gatzky has been the hottest of the Bulldogs during the team’s current three-match winning streak.  The senior from Reutlingen, Germany, has tallied seven points in the three matches, and he has five of his six assists on the season during the stretch.  Gatzky had assists on both Butler goals in the Bulldogs’ 2-1 upset of #14 Indiana, and then he posted a goal and an assist in the team’s 2-1 victory over Valparaiso.  He had an assist on both goals in Butler’s recent 2-1 win at IUPUI.

Boris Gatzky has had an assist on the game-winning goal in each of Butler’s last three matches.

SCORING DEFENSE:  Sophomore Matt Hedges has established himself with his play at the defensive end of the field over the past season and a half.  But he’s also contributing at the offensive end.  Hedges is tied for the team lead in goals with four, and he’s second on the squad in scoring with nine points.  He’s currently tied with teammate Boris Gatzky for seventh in the Horizon League in goals, and he’s tied for 10th in the league in points.  Hedges shares the league lead and boasts a team-high three game-winning goals.

BULLDOG BITS:  The Bulldogs own the best 11-match record in Butler men’s soccer history.  Butler’s 1990 and 1998 teams both stood 9-2 after 11 matches...Senior Boris Gatzky continues to lead the Horizon League in shots per game (4.18).  He has moved into ninth place on Butler’s all-time list for shots with 150...Senior Fabian Knopfler leads the Horizon League and ranks 25th in the NCAA Division I in goals against average (0.71).  He’s fourth in the league in save percentage (.773)...Butler ranks 13th in the NCAA Division I in team goals against average (0.62).  Butler has allowed just seven goals in 11 matches this year.