#8 Bulldogs Face Challenging Road Slate

ROAD WORK:  Butler faces its final two regular season road tests of the 2010 campaign and both present a major challenge.  The Bulldogs, ranked eighth in this week’s National Soccer Coaches of America Association poll, will journey to Bloomington on Wednesday, Oct. 27, for a 7 p.m. (ET) match against No. 25 Indiana.  The Hoosiers (8-4-2) are leading the Big Ten and are 6-1-2 in their last nine matches.  Butler defeated Indiana, 2-1 in double overtime, in the regular season last year, but then fell to the Hoosiers, 1-0, in the NCAA Tournament.  Both matches were played at Indiana’s Armstrong Stadium.  Following the non-league match at Indiana, Butler will travel to Detroit for a key Horizon League match on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m.  The Titans (6-6-2, 4-2 Horizon League) are one of two teams tied for second in the league behind Butler.  The Bulldogs need a win or a tie in their final two league matches to clinch their second consecutive Horizon League regular season title.         

Butler is one of three unbeaten teams in the NCAA Division I.  The Bulldogs are tied for first (with Akron) in Division I in won-lost-tied percentage (.964).
      
MIXED RESULTS:  The Bulldogs suffered the first blemish to their 2010 record with a 0-0 tie in double-overtime in a non-league match at home against IUPUI.  Butler had a commanding, 26-6, advantage in shots in the match, including eight shots on goal, but still came up empty.  The decision ended the Bulldogs’ school-record, 12-match winning streak.  Four days later, Butler bounced back with a 2-1 Horizon League victory over Loyola at the Butler Bowl.  The Bulldogs took a 2-0 advantage midway through the second half, before surrendering a goal in the 71st minute.  The win was the 13th of the season for the Bulldogs, matching the fifth-highest single season victory total in school history.

POLLING PLACE:  Butler continues to be ranked in the “Top 20” in the national soccer polls, with several “Top 10” rankings.  The Bulldogs are ranked #10 by both Soccer Times and College Soccer News and No. 17 in the Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48 poll.  Goal.com lists Butler at #6.  The Bulldogs are ranked third in the Great Lakes Region, behind the nation’s top two teams, Akron and Louisville.    

FINAL DEFENSE:  Goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler allowed one goal in two matches last week and picked up his 16th career shutout in the Bulldogs’ 0-0 match against IUPUI.  He improved to 12-0-1 on the season with a Horizon League-leading 0.52 goals against average.  Knopfler currently ranks eighth in the NCAA Division I in goals against average, and he’s 38th in the nation in save percentage (.811).  He leads the Horizon League in shutouts with six.  

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

TIME CHANGE:  The starting time for Butler’s final home game against Cleveland State on Friday, Nov. 5, has been moved from 3 p.m. (ET) to 10 a.m. (ET) to accommodate the Horizon League Women’s Soccer Championship.  Butler’s women clinched the top seed in the tournament and the right to host the event on Nov. 5 & 7.  Women’s tournament matches will be played at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
 
BULLDOG BITS:  Butler continues to lead the Horizon League in goals scored with 32.  The Bulldogs are ranked tenth in the NCAA Division I in scoring offense (2.29)...Butler ranks seventh in Division I in goals against average (0.48)...Senior Kyle Pateros and freshman Austin Oldham each had a goal and an assist in Butler’ victory over Loyola.