September 19, 2007

Bulldogs Host Dayton, Visit Valparaiso

Sept. 19, 2007

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BACK HOME: Butler, coming off a stretch of three consecutive tournaments, returns to Indiana for its next six matches. The Bulldogs (3-1-2) will play their first home contest of the season when they host non-league foe Dayton at 7 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, Sept. 20. That match, one of two home evening contests, will be played at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis. Following the Dayton match, Butler will begin Horizon League play at state foe Valparaiso on Sunday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m. (CT). The Bulldogs wrapped up their season-opening tournament run with a runner-up finish at the Northern Illinois adidas/Baymont Inn Invitational. Butler dropped a 3-0 decision to #10 Northwestern in the opening round of the tournament, but the Bulldogs bounced back to defeat host and defending Mid-American Conference champ Northern Illinois, 2-1 in double-overtime, in the final round. Northern Illinois was ranked 10th in the Great Lakes Region heading into the tournament.

Butler is unbeaten in three overtime matches this season.

STRONG FINISH: Tournament champ Northwestern scored three goals in the second half to hand Butler its first 2007 defeat. The Wildcats tallied the game-winner at 48:53, and then added back-to-back goals in the 65th minute for the final score. Butler had 11 shots against the nationally-ranked foe, but couldn't find the back of the net. Two days later, Butler rallied against Northern Illinois and tied the match at 1-1 on a free kick by sophomore Boris Gatzky with less than eight minutes remaining. The Bulldogs then pulled out the victory on an unassisted goal by freshman Dustin Mares in the second overtime period. Mares recovered a loose ball after a long throw-in by sophomore Kyle VondenBenken and blasted a shot into the lower right corner of the net from 12 yards out.

ALL-TOURNAMENT: Sophomore Boris Gatzky, who transferred to Butler from Gardner-Webb, made it a clean sweep when he was named to the All-Tournament Team following the conclusion of the NIU adidas/Baymont Inn Invitational. It was the third consecutive all-tournament plaque for the Butler newcomer. He was one of three Bulldogs honored on the all-tournament squad. Junior Fabian Knopfler and freshman Connor Burt each earned his second all-tournament recognition this fall.

DEFENSIVE STAND: After surrendering a goal at 30:11 of the match against Northern Illinois, Butler turned up the defensive intensity and blanked the host Huskies for the final 77:43. Junior Fabian Knopfler stopped three Northern Illinois shots in the second half and finished the match with five saves. The Bulldogs also held #10 Northwestern scoreless for the first 45 minutes of the opening round match in the NIU tournament.

Butler goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler led the NIU Invitational with 10 saves.

BULLDOG BITS: Butler continues to lead the Horizon League in goals scored with 12 in six matches (2.00). Loyola and Green Bay are tied for second with 10 goals each (1.67)...Freshman Dustin Mares became the third different Butler player to record a game-winning goal this season with his decisive shot against Northern Illinois. Junior Frank Patano and freshman Ben Sippola also have game-winners for the Bulldogs this fall. Mares posted Butler's first overtime winner...Butler has allowed only two first half goals in the first six matches this season. The Bulldogs have out-scored their opponents, 6-2, prior to intermission this fall...Sophomore Boris Gatzky leads the Horizon League in shots (25). The first-year Butler player attempted eight shots at the NIU Invitational, including five against nationally-ranked Northwestern...Junior Frank Patano ranks second in the Horizon League in points (9), and he's tied for second in the league in goals (4). Patano is tied for third in the circuit in shots (18). Patano did not play against Northern Illinois due to a red card suspension.