Oct. 23, 2008
HOME RULE: Butler, riding a four-match winning streak, will try to maintain a couple of unbeaten marks when it hosts Loyola on Friday, Oct. 24. The match between two of the top teams in the Horizon League is slated for 1:30 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl. The Bulldogs (11-2-2, 4-0-1 Horizon League) remained unbeaten in league play with a 3-1 victory at Wright State on Saturday (Oct. 18). Three days later, Butler improved to 5-0 in the Butler Bowl this season with a 1-0 non-league win over Eastern Illinois. The two wins boosted the Bulldogs to 6-1 in the last seven matches. Loyola (8-4-1, 3-2-0 HL), ranked in the "Top 25" earlier this season, currently stands in fourth place in the league. The Ramblers lead the league in fewest goals allowed (10).
The Bulldogs have tied the eighth-highest win total in school history.
POLL CLIMBING: Wins over IUPUI (Oct. 14) and Wright State (Oct. 18) lifted Butler into the "Top 25" in two national soccer polls for the first time this season and into the "Top 30" in a third national poll. The Bulldogs are No. 24 in the Soccer America Men's Top 25 and No. 25 in the College Soccer News Top 30 National Poll. Butler is No. 26 in the Top Drawer Soccer.com 2008 Men's Tournament 48 Ranking.
WINNING WAYS: Butler reached double-figures in victories for the 11th time in school history with back-to-back wins at Wright State and over Eastern Illinois. The Bulldogs jumped to a 2-0 halftime lead with two goals in nine seconds, midway through the first half. Senior Eduardo Garcia started the scoring with a goal at 39:21. On the restart, sophomore Ben Sippola drilled a shot from 40 yards out. Garcia made it 3-0 in the 58th minute, before Wright State tallied a late goal. The lone goal in the victory over Eastern Illinois was scored by senior David Giarratana on a touch off a deflected free kick by junior Boris Gatzky. The two wins gave Butler 11 on the season, the most since 2004.
HONORS WEEK: Senior forward Eduardo Garcia was named Horizon League Men's Soccer Player of the Week, after scoring three goals in the Bulldogs' back-to-back wins over IUPUI and Wright State. He scored his first goal of the season in Butler's 4-0 victory over IUPUI, and then he tallied a pair of goals to help the Bulldogs past Wright State, 3-1, in Horizon League play. The victory at Wright State kept the Bulldogs on top of the league standings. The league honor was the first of several for Garcia. He also was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for the period ending Oct. 19, and he was picked to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Men's College Team of the Week.
RECORD WIN: Butler's 1-0 victory over Eastern Illinois gave the Bulldogs nine shutouts on the season, equaling the school single season record set in 1990, 1995, 1997 and 1998. It was Butler's third shutout in the past four matches and fourth shutout in the Butler Bowl. The Bulldogs have allowed just 12 goals in 15 matches this season and just one goal in five matches at the Butler Bowl.
Butler leads the Horizon League in shutouts, one ahead of UIC.
BULLDOG BITS: Goalkeeper Nick Hegeman was named Horizon League Scholar-Athlete of the Week, after helping he Bulldogs to a 1-0 upset of #4 UIC on Oct. 11. It was the second league Scholar-Athlete recognition this fall for the honor student majoring in economics...Senior Frank Patano continues to lead the Horizon League in scoring with 21 points. He's first in the league in goals scored (9) and first in game-winning goals (5)...Eduardo Garcia remains the Horizon League leader in assists with nine...Butler has a 16-3-2 record in its last 19 matches, dating back to last season.