Aug. 18, 2008
Butler has been picked to finish fourth in the 2008 Horizon League men's soccer race, according to a preseason poll of league coaches. UIC was tabbed as the league favorite in the poll, released by the Horizon League office on Monday (August 18).
The Flames, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship last fall, received the maximum eight first place votes (64 points) in the poll. Green Bay (52) picked up the other first place vote and was picked second in the poll, while defending league regular season champ Loyola (51) was slated third.
Butler, boasting 21 returning letterwinners, garnered 43 points in the poll and finished just ahead of Milwaukee (39). Valparaiso (26) was picked sixth, followed by Wright State (20), Detroit (16) and Cleveland State (13).
The Bulldogs return all 11 starters from last year's squad, which posted a 9-7-4 record and tied for fourth in the Horizon League regular season standings. Included among the returnees are a trio of second team all-league performers, Frank Patano, Eduardo Garcia and Boris Gatzky. Patano led the Horizon League in scoring in 2007, and he enters this fall in seventh place on Butler's all-time list for goals with 24. Garcia started 17 matches and finished third on the team in shots last fall, while Gatzky tied for the league lead in assists in his first season with the Bulldogs after transferring from Gardner Webb.
Butler's returnees accounted for all but two of the team's points in 2007 and all but four of the squad's shots. Head coach Kelly Findley also returns both goalkeepers who saw action for the Bulldogs a year ago.
All nine Horizon League teams begin non-league action on the last weekend of August. Butler opens against James Madison in the Louisville Tournament on August 30.