#12 Butler Hosts Horizon League Foe UIC

#12 Butler Hosts Horizon League Foe UIC

HOME RUN:  Butler, the last unbeaten, untied team in the NCAA Division I, will continue it’s four-match homestand and return to Horizon League play when it hosts UIC on Saturday, Oct 9.  The contest at the Butler Bowl is slated to start at 4 p.m. (ET).  The Bulldogs improved to 9-0-0 overall with a 2-1 victory over Evansville on Tuesday (Oct. 5).  The match was the second on the current homestand and boosted head coach Kelly Findley’s squad to 3-0 in the Butler Bowl this season.  The Flames (3-6-0, 1-2-0 Horizon League) also are coming off a victory after posting a 4-0 decision against Wright State in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday (Oct. 3).  The shutout came in the first career start of redshirt freshman goalkeeper Piotr Kikloski.  Butler will close out its current homestand with a non-league match against Bowling Green on Wednesday, Oct. 13.           

Butler is 9-0 for the first time in school history, topping the 8-0 start of 1990.
POLL VAULTING:  Butler continues to climb in the national soccer polls, and the Bulldogs now stand at #15 or higher in each of the major soccer rankings.  The Bulldogs rose to #12 in this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, Butler’s highest ranking in the coaches’ poll.  Butler is ranked #10 in the Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48 poll, #13 by Soccer America, #12 by Soccer Times, and #15 by College Soccer News.  Goal.com lists Butler at #5.  The Bulldogs remain at #3 in the Great Lakes Region, the highest ranking of any team from Indiana.  

CLOSING STATEMENT:  Butler posted back-to-back victories over opponents from Indiana in its last two outings, and both came in thrilling, last-minute fashion.  Senior Conner Burt took a cross from teammate Ben Sippola and slipped a header into the lower right corner of the net with 1:59 remaining in the second overtime to give Butler a hard-fought, 1-0, victory over Horizon League foe Valparaiso on Friday, Oct. 1.  Four days later, senior Kyle Pateros scored on a header with 1:31 remaining in regulation play to lift Butler to a 2-1 victory over visiting Evansville in a non-league match.  The game-winner by Pateros was his second this season, while Burt picked up his first.

FIRST DEFENSE:  Butler continues to lead the Horizon League in goals against average (0.43), and the Bulldogs are tied for the league lead in shutouts (5).  Head coach Kelly Findley’s squad has not allowed more than one goal in a match this season, and Butler has given up just one goal in three Horizon League matches.  Senior goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler leads the Horizon League and ranks sixth in the NCAA Division I in goals against average (0.43), and he tops the league in shutouts (5).  Knopfler has allowed just 14 goals in his last 24 matches.

Fabian Knopfler ranks second on Butler’s all-time list for shutouts with 15.  

BULLDOG BITS:  Butler leads the Horizon League in goals scored with 21.  The Bulldogs entered this week’s action tied for 22nd in the NCAA Division I in goals scored...Senior Ben Sippola stands second in the Horizon League in points (15), and he’s tied for second in the league in goals (5).  He’s tied for first in the circuit in assists (5)...Freshman Adekunle Oluyedun scored his fourth collegiate goal to give Butler a 1-0 lead over Evansville.  He’s tied with teammate Matt Hedges for fourth in the Horizon League in goals scored...Senior Conner Burt, who scored the game-winner in Butler’s double-overtime victory over Valparaiso, was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for the week ending Oct. 3.