October 25, 2011

Bulldogs Begin Final League Stretch

RACE TIME:  Butler returns to Horizon League play for its final four regular season matches, beginning with a home test against Cleveland State on Wednesday, Oct. 26.  That match at the Butler Bowl will begin at 7 p.m. (ET).  The Bulldogs, who will face the top three teams in the league in the next two weeks, are trying to make a climb in the conference standings, with an eye on a berth in the 2011 Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship.  Butler (6-6-2, 1-2-1 Horizon League) currently is tied with UIC for sixth place in the league standings, and only the top six teams advance to the league tournament.  Cleveland State (6-8-1) currently sits in third place in the league standings with a 3-2-1 record.  The Vikings have dropped back-to-back matches, after compiling a season-best, four-match winning streak.  Butler, 17-4-2 all-time against the Vikings, will be meeting Cleveland State at the Butler Bowl for the fourth consecutive match. The two teams played to a 0-0 tie in the final game of the regular season last year, and then Butler defeated the Vikings, 2-1, in the semifinals of the Horizon League Championship.  Following the Cleveland State match, Butler will travel to Detroit for a league match on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m. (ET).               

Butler is 2-0-2 in its last four home matches against Cleveland State.                        
      
LAST MEETING:  Butler went right to the final minute before prevailing over Cleveland State, 2-1, in the semifinals of last year’s Horizon League Championship at the Butler Bowl.  With just 0:43 left, Butler’s Jacob Capito was tripped in the penalty box, setting up a penalty shot showdown between Horizon League Player of the Year Ben Sippola and Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year Brad Stuver.  Sippola nailed the game-winner for Butler with a shot to the upper left corner of the net.  The Bulldogs played catch-up for more than 50 minutes, after Cleveland State grabbed a 1-0 lead 20 minutes into the contest on a goal by Audric Kilroy.  Butler tied the match at 75:33 on Julian Cardona’s shot from 25 yards out.

Butler’s last eight matches with Cleveland State have either been decided by a single goal or ended in a tie.              

GETTING DEFENSIVE:  Butler recorded its second shutout in the past four matches with a 1-0 victory at Evansville.  The Bulldogs, who grabbed a 1-0 lead on a goal by Austin Oldham at 36:57, limited Evansville to just two shots in the final 45 minutes.  The Aces had just one shot on goal in the second half, and that attempt was stopped by Butler goalkeeper Jon Dawson.  The shutout at Evansville, which snapped a four-match winless streak for the Bulldogs, came two weeks after Butler had tied UIC, 0-0, in double-overtime.

The Bulldogs have allowed just two goals in the past four matches.     

BULLDOG BITS:  Goalkeeper Jon Dawson has recorded 13 saves in his last two matches.  He had a career-high seven saves in Butler’s match at Green Bay, before chalking up six saves at Evansville...Sophomore Austin Oldham recorded his second game-winner of the season and the third of his career to lift the Bulldogs past Evansville.  It was his team-high sixth goal of the season and the 11th of his Butler career.  Oldham is tied for third in the Horizon League in points (15) and tied for fourth in the league in goals...Sophomore Jordan Burt had a team-high five shots at Evansville, including a career-best three shots on goal.  He also picked up the assist on Austin Oldham’s game-winning goal...Butler assist leader Zach Steinberger did not play in Butler’s victory at Evansville.  The freshman midfielder has missed the past three-and-a-half matches with injury, and he remains questionable for this week’s action.  Steinberger is tied for second on the team in scoring with two goals and four assists.