SEASON OPENER: Butler, coming off one of
the best seasons in school history, will begin the 2010 men’s
soccer campaign with two matches in a four-day stretch. The
Bulldogs will open the season at home against IPFW on Wednesday,
Sept. 1, and then travel to Cincinnati, Ohio, to take on Xavier on
Saturday, Sept. 4. The home-opener in the Butler Bowl will
start at 5 p.m. (ET), while the match at Xavier is slated for 7
p.m. Butler head coach Kelly Findley has 10 players who
started 10 or more matches returning from last year’s 14-3-2
team, which won the Horizon League regular season championship,
posted a “Top 25” national ranking and advanced to the
NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs’ 14 wins tied the
third-highest win total in school history. Butler was ranked
as high as No. 17 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of
America national poll, and the Bulldogs ended the season ranked
25th in the Soccer Times national poll. Butler’s match
against IPFW will be the Bulldogs’ only home appearance in
the first month of the season. Starting with the match at
Xavier, Butler will play six straight matches away from
Butler is 3-0-1 in season-openers under head coach Kelly Findley.
SUCCESSFUL START: The Bulldogs prepared for the start of the 2010 season with a trio of exhibition matches and came away with a 2-0-1 record in the three preseason contests. Butler defeated Dayton, 2-0, on the road on goals by seniors Kyle Pateros and Michael Clayton to open the exhibition slate and then settled for a 2-2 time at home against Eastern Illinois. Sophomore Tyler Pollock had the Bulldogs’ first goal in the home match, while sophomore Blake Leyden tallied the second. The Bulldogs then closed out the exhibition slate with a convincing, 4-1 neutral site victory over Northwestern, a team picked third in the Big Ten this season. Trailing 1-0 in the first period, head coach Kelly Findley’s squad responded with consecutive goals by senior Ben Sippola, freshman Adam Glanzer, sophomore Julian Cardona and senior Jacob Capito. Butler out-scored its three opponents, 8-3, during the exhibition season.
DEFENSIVE WALL: Head Coach Kelly Findley returns three of four backfield starters and his top goalkeeper from last season’s rock-solid defensive unit. The Bulldogs led the Horizon League and ranked ninth in the NCAA Division I with a 0.61 goals against average in 2009. Findley’s squad topped the league and set a school record for fewest goals allowed (12) and ranked second in the circuit in shutouts (8). Returning this season are backs Matt Hedges, Conner Burt and Brett Heinz, along with goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler. Hedges was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year, while Burt and Knopfler both were named second team All-League.
Butler broke the school-record for goals against average for the second consecutive year in 2009.
BULLDOG BITS: Butler’s freshman class was ranked as a “Top 40 Recruiting Class” by College Soccer News. Findley’s newcomers were tabbed 33rd on the list of best recruiting classes, while freshman Austin Oldham was listed among the “Top 100 Freshmen” by the publication...Senior goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler enters the 2010 season in tie for sixth place on Butler’s all-time list for shutouts with 10. Butler’s all-time record for shutouts (23) is held by Alan Placek, 1994-97...Butler head coach Kelly Findley needs one win to tie Langdon Kumler (1989-92) for third place on Butler’s all-time list for coaching victories. Findley is 43-24-12 in four seasons with the Bulldogs.