Bulldogs Host Bradley In 2011 Season-Opener

Bulldogs Host Bradley In 2011 Season-Opener

SEASON START:  Butler, one year removed from one of the finest seasons in school history, will begin the 2011 men’s soccer season at home on Friday, August 26.  The Bulldogs, ranked No. 21 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Preseason Poll, will host Bradley at 5:30 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl.  Butler rolled through an unbeaten regular season a year ago and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship before falling to Michigan State, 1-0.  The 16-1-3 Bulldogs won Horizon League regular season and tournament crowns, compiled a school-record 12-match winning streak and became the first team in school history to finish with just a single loss.  The 16 wins were the third-most in Butler men’s soccer history and the 15-0-2 regular season mark was the best in school annals  The Bulldogs posted a school-record #5 ranking during the 2010 campaign and ended the year ranked in the “Top 20.”  The match against Bradley will be Butler’s lone home contest in the first four weeks of the season.  The Bulldogs will play in the Michigan and Dayton tournaments and visit top-ranked Louisville and IPFW before returning to the Butler Bowl to host Milwaukee on Sept. 24.         

Butler is unbeaten in its last 19 regular season matches.  The Bulldogs have just two losses in their last 41 regular season contests.

NEW LEADERSHIP:  Head Coach Paul Snape will make his Butler debut when the Bulldogs host Bradley on Friday (Aug. 26).  The former Michigan associate head coach was named to Butler’s top position in January, after former Butler coach Kelly Findley left to become the head coach at North Carolina State.  Snape spent eight seasons on the staff at Michigan and helped lead the Wolverines to the 2010 NCAA Division I College Cup Final Four.  Michigan finished with a 17-5-3 record last season and captured its first Big Ten Tournament title.        

BACK IN BLUE:  Butler lost six starters from last year’s successful squad, but new head coach Paul Snape does have two of last year’s top three scorers returning.  Sophomore Adekunle Oluyedun was second on the team in scoring in 2010 with five goals and four assists, while sophomore Austin Oldham tied for third on the squad with five goals and three assists.  Both players were named to the 2010 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.  Also back from last season’s starting unit are juniors Tyler Pollock and Jared Isenthal and sophomore Jordan Burt.  Pollock, who had three goals and one assist last season, and Isenthal, who recorded three assists in 2010, both were named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team in 2009, while Burt, who posted one goal and one assist a year ago, joined Oluyedun and Oldham on last year’s All-Newcomer squad.

The Bulldogs return 11 letterwinners from last year’s successful squad.

BULLDOG BITS:  Head coach Paul Snape has added freshman Zach Steinberger to this year’s roster.  Steinberger, who attended Bradenton Academy in Florida, has been playing in Europe for the past year.  He most recently was a member of Karlsruhe SC in Germany...Butler will face three teams ranked in the NSCAA Preseason “Top 25” in 2011.  The Bulldogs will visit No. 9 Michigan on Sept. 2, and No. 1 Louisville on Sept. 17.  No. 17 Indiana will make its first trip to the Butler Bowl for a 7 p.m. (ET) match on Oct. 12.  Butler opened the 2011 campaign with a preseason exhibition match against No. 12 Notre Dame...Butler’s incoming class of newcomers was ranked as a “Top 40” recruiting class by College Soccer News.   Freshmen Vlad Lekarev and Brycen Howard each were listed among the publication’s “Top 150 Recruits” for 2011.  Lekarev was tabbed No. 57 on the list, while Howard came in at No. 61.

(Photos by Brent Smith, Butler University)