Butler Heads To Kentucky Tournament

Butler Heads To Kentucky Tournament

TOURNEY TIME:  Butler, coming off back-to-back wins in the first week of the season, will visit Lexington, Ky., to participate in the four-team Kentucky Invitational.  The Bulldogs will face Houston Baptist on Friday, Sept. 10, at 5 p.m. (ET) in the first game of the opening round, while host Kentucky will take on Loyola Marymount in the second game.  Butler then will meet Loyola Marymount at noon on Sunday, Sept. 12, followed by the tournament’s final match between Kentucky and Houston Baptist.  Butler will take a 2-0 record into the tournament, following a home win over IPFW, 4-0, and a road victory at Xavier, 1-0.  It marks the fourth straight season that the Bulldogs have opened with back-to-back wins.  Kentucky and Loyola Marymount also bring 2-0 records to the tournament, while Houston Baptist is 1-1 after the first week.  All four tournament matches will be played at the UK Soccer Complex.         

Butler has won three regular season tournaments under head coach Kelly Findley.
FAST START:  It took less than 10 minutes for Butler to score its first goal of 2010, and the Bulldogs added two more goals by halftime of their season-opener against IFPW.  The three first-half goals equaled Butler’s highest single MATCH total in 2009!  The Bulldogs added a fourth goal in the second half and finished a shutout decision in their initial outing.  Three days later, it took the Bulldogs nearly 60 minutes to find the back of the net, but that proved to be enough to keep the team’s record unblemished.

ZERO ALLOWANCE:  The Bulldogs opened the season with back-to-back shutouts for the third consecutive year.  And the same goalkeeper was responsible for five of those six scoreless outings.  Senior Fabian Knopfler recorded a pair of shutouts to start the 2008 campaign, posted Butler’s first shutout in 2009 and was in goal for the Bulldogs’ first two matches this season.  He finished with three saves against IPFW and then added three more in the victory at Xavier.  Knopfler set a Butler single season record a year ago, with a 0.66 goals against average.

Fabian Knopfler is tied for fourth all-time at Butler with 12 career shutouts.

NATIONAL ATTENTION:  Butler’s recent success continues to resonate with the voters in the national soccer polls.  The Bulldogs are ranked No. 25 in this week’s Soccer Times national Top 25 and listed at No. 32 in the Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48.  Butler is ranked fifth in the Great Lakes Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.      

BALANCED EFFORT:  Four different players have accounted for Butler’s first five goals this season.  And the Bulldogs’ first four goals were spread among four different classes.  Sophomore Julian Cardona notched Butler’s first 2010 goal and was followed in the scoring column by freshman Austin Oldham, junior Matt Hedges and senior Kyle Pateros.  Three additional players recorded assists in the Bulldogs’ opener.  Pateros then took the team’s scoring lead with the game-winner at Xavier.

BULLDOG BITS:  Senior goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler stands 11th on Butler’s all-time list for goalie saves with 114.  He trails Jason Richarz (1998-2001) in tenth place by 12 saves...Sophomore Blake Leyden recorded his first career assist on Butler’s second goal against IPFW.  He picked up his second career assist nine minutes later on the Bulldogs’ third goal...Butler head coach Kelly Findley has moved into third place on Butler’s all-time list for coaching victories.  Findley is 45-24-12 in four plus seasons with the Bulldogs.