Nov. 1, 2007
Frank Patano helped the Bulldogs close out the regular season in style on Thursday when he struck for three first half goals to propel Butler to a 3-1 win over Wright State at the Butler Bowl. The Bulldogs wrapped up the regular season with a 8-6-4 mark overall and stand at 4-2-2 in Horizon League play.
"There was a lot riding on this game," Head Coach Kelly Findley said. "Finishing at two games above .500, home-field advantage for the tournament and possibly a second game at home."
Patano is now tied for the Horizon League lead with 14 goals on the season after his three-goal first half on Thursday. Patano struck first in the 7th minute when teammates Kyle VondenBenken and Eduardo Garcia got Patano a great look right in front of the net for the first score of the day.
Brett Heinz and Mat Sall set Patano up for his second strike in the 16th minute when he found the net off a header.
Patano's final goal came off a set piece from Michael Clayton with just 51 seconds left in the first, making the score 3-0 going into half.
"He's been a great leader," Findley said about Patano. "Both on the field and off as well. With all the goals he's been scoring lately has shown his leadership, character and potential."
Butler scored the final goal of the day in the 67th minute on the same goal that Patano struck three times in the first. The goal was given to Wright State, however, as the Butler defense scrambled to try and clear the ball and scored an own goal on Butler keeper Fabian Knopfler.
Knopfler saved six shots on the afternoon in his first start and action in goal in three games.
With the win, the Bulldogs have ensured a winning season for the first time under Findley, who is in just his second year as head coach.
Butler now heads into the Horizon League Championship as the No. 4 seed if UIC either loses or ties Loyola, the No. 1 seed, on Nov. 3rd. Either way, Butler will host a first-round game on Nov. 9th.
"I'm very pleased with the results," Findley said. "We've had a very good year, but we're not satisfied with good. We want to be great, and we're working every day toward that goal. We're looking forward to the tournament."