November 2, 2010

#6 Bulldogs Close Regular Season At Home

HOME FINALE:  Butler will try to close out the first unbeaten regular season in school history when it hosts Horizon League foe Cleveland State on Friday, Nov. 5.  The match at the Butler Bowl will have an unusual 10 a.m. (ET) starting time to accommodate Butler’s hosting of the Horizon League Women’s Soccer Championship later in the day.  The #6-ranked Bulldogs (15-0-1, 7-0-0 Horizon League), who clinched a second consecutive Horizon League regular season title a week ago, will be facing a team that has already pulled off the biggest upset of the 2010 college soccer campaign.  Cleveland State (8-9-0, 4-3 HL) handed top-ranked Akron a 2-1 setback last week, the Zips’ first regular season loss since 2008!  The Vikings also handed Butler its only Horizon League loss a year ago.  Butler will host the Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship, beginning on Nov. 12.           

Butler is one of two unbeaten teams in the NCAA Division I.  The Bulldogs lead Division I in won-lost-tied percentage (.969).
      
SENIOR RECOGNITION:  Butler will pay tribute to 11 seniors on this year’s squad following the match with Cleveland State.  The players to be honored are Troy Blewitt (Carmel), Conner Burt (Elkhart), Jacob Capito (Fort Wayne), Michael Clayton (Kansas City, Mo.), Brett Heinz (Leawood, Kan.), Fabian Knopfler (Reutlingen, Germany), Dustin Mares (Mishawaka), Kyle Pateros (Janesville, Wis.),  Nick Powell (Madison, Wis.), Matt Sall (Greenwood) and Ben Sippola (Northfield, Minn.).  The 11 seniors have helped Butler to a 51-13-11 record and two league championships over the past four seasons.  
 
ROAD SWEEP:  The Bulldogs closed out the road portion of their 2010 schedule with back-to-back victories at #25 Indiana, 4-1, and at Horizon League foe Detroit, 2-0.  Sophomore Tyler Pollock scored a pair of goals, while senior Jacob Capito and freshman Austin Oldham each added one to help Butler to a win at Indiana for the second consecutive year.  Three days later, the Bulldogs wrapped up their second consecutive Horizon League regular season title with a shutout at Detroit.  Junior Matt Hedges scored the eventual game-winner just over ten minutes into the match, while freshman Adekunle Oluyedun added an insurance goal just before halftime.  Senior goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler picked up his seventh shutout of the season.

POLLING DATA:  Butler has climbed into the “Top 10” in several of the national college soccer polls.  The Bulldogs are ranked #6 by both Soccer Times and College Soccer News and No. 10 in the Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48 poll.  Goal.com lists Butler at #3.  The Bulldogs continue to be ranked third in the Great Lakes Region, behind the nation’s top two teams, Louisville and Akron.    

BULLDOG BITS:  Butler seniors Conner Burt and Ben Sippola were named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District V Team, announced on Tuesday (Nov. 2).  Burt was a first team Academic All-America pick a year ago, while Sippola was named to the NSCAA Scholar All-North/Central Region Team in 2009.  Both players will be on the Academic All-America ballot this year...Junior Matt Hedges was chosen to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week, following his performance in Butler’s victories over Indiana and Detroit...Butler goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler leads the Horizon League and ranks sixth in the NCAA Division I in goals against average (0.52).  Knopfler also leads the league in shutouts (7)...Ben Sippola leads the Horizon League and ranks ninth in Division I in total assists (9)...Butler ranks sixth in Division I in total goals (38) and in goals against average (0.48).  The Bulldogs stand seventh in Division I in scoring offense (2.38).