October 12, 2010

Butler Men’s Soccer Cracks National “Top 10”

TOP TEN:  Butler, fresh from back-to-back victories last week, has cracked the "Top 10" of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll.  The Bulldogs (10-0-0) climbed from No. 12 a week ago to No. 9 in this week's rankings.  It's the highest the Bulldogs have ever been in the NSCAA poll.  Butler is the lone unbeaten, untied team in the NCAA Division I.  The Bulldogs are tied with UC Irvine for the second-most wins in the nation, one behind national leader SMU.  Butler will try to add to the best start in school history and extend its school-record, 10-match winning streak when it hosts Bowling Green in a non-league match on Wednesday, Oct. 13.  The contest, slated for 4 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl, will be the last on the Bulldogs' current four-match homestand.      

Butler has won 10 consecutive regular season matches in the Butler Bowl.
      
MORE POLLING:  Butler continues to climb in the national soccer polls, and the Bulldogs now stand at #10 or higher in each of the major soccer rankings.  The Bulldogs are ranked #8 in the Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48 poll, #9 by Soccer Times, and #10 by College Soccer News.  Goal.com lists Butler at #5.  The Bulldogs are tied with Louisville for #2 in the Great Lakes Region, behind the nation's top-ranked team, Akron.  

SOLID FINISH:  The Bulldogs kept fans in their Butler Bowl seats until the last possible moment, while sweeping a pair of matches last week.  Senior Kyle Pateros scored on a header with 1:31 remaining in the contest to lift Butler to a 2-1 victory over non-league foe Evansville to start the week's action.  Butler had taken a 1-0 lead on a goal by freshman Adekunle Oluyedun early in the second half, but the visiting Aces tied the score with just under 24 minutes remaining.  Four days later, senior Ben Sippola came through in the first overtime period and provided the game-winner on a penalty kick to give Butler a 2-1 Horizon League victory over UIC.  The Bulldogs had taken an early lead on a goal by sophomore Jordan Burt, but the Flames tied the match shortly before halftime.

SCORING LEADER:  Senior Ben Sippola picked up a goal and an assist in Butler's two wins last week and boosted his team lead in scoring.  The Northfield, Minn., native enters this week's action with six goals and five assists on the season.  He currently ranks second in the Horizon League and 15th in the NCAA Division I in total points (17), and he's second in the league and 29th in the nation in total goals.  Sippola is tied for first in the league and stands 22nd in the nation in assists.  The Butler midfielder has two game-winning goals this season.  

With six goals and five assists, Ben Sippola has matched the career totals of his first three seasons at Butler.  

BULLDOG BITS:  Butler continues to lead the Horizon League in goals scored with 23.  The Bulldogs are ranked 15th in the NCAA Division I in scoring offense (2.3) and 17th in total goals...Senior goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler ranks eighth individually and Butler stands eighth as a team in the NCAA Division I men's soccer statistics for goals against average (0.49).  Knopfler leads the Horizon League in goals against average and in shutouts (5)...Fabian Knopfler stands second on Butler's all-time list for shutouts with 15 during his career with the Bulldogs...Freshman Adekunle Oluyedun is tied for fifth in the Horizon League in points (10), while junior Matt Hedges is tied for seventh (9).  Hedges has a team-high three game-winners this season...Sophomore Jordan Burt scored his fourth collegiate goal in Butler's Horizon League victory over UIC.