December 14, 2007

Bulldogs Post Best Men's Soccer Record Since 2004

Dec. 14, 2007

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FORWARD PROGRESS: Butler closed out the 2007 men's soccer season in the second round of the Horizon League Tournament, but not before posting its first winning record in three years and recording its best league finish since 2004. The Bulldogs, who fell in overtime to Green Bay, 1-0, in the league tournament, finished with a 9-7-4 overall record and a 4-2-2 league mark. Butler tied for fourth in the league with Green Bay and posted its first league winning record in three years. The Bulldogs won a season-opening tournament championship at The Courtyard By Marriott Flyer Classic and then posted a runner-up finish at the Northern Illinois adidas/Baymont Inn Invitational. Butler also picked up a 0-0 tie in double-overtime against Horizon League champ and NCAA quarter-finalist UIC.

Butler won five of its final six matches in 2007, including a five-match win streak.

LEAGUE LEADER: Butler's Frank Patano wound up leading the Horizon League in scoring in 2007. The junior forward scored 15 goals and added three assists for a league-best 33 points, finishing one point ahead of Michael Ferguson of Loyola. Patano tied with Ferguson for most goals in the league and he finished fourth in the circuit in shots (53). He became the ninth player in Butler men's soccer history to score three goals in a match when he recorded the "hat trick" in a 3-1 victory over Wright State, and he became just the fourth player in Butler history to score 15 goals in a season. His 33 points marked the sixth-highest single season total by a Butler player. He tied for third in the league in game-winning goals with three.

Frank Patano scored nine goals in Butler's late season five-match winning streak.

YOUNG GUNS: Butler had one of the youngest teams in the region this season with nine freshmen seeing action in 13 or more matches. When the Bulldogs took the field in the second round of the Horizon League championship in November, head coach Kelly Findley had four freshmen, three sophomores and four juniors in his starting lineup. Butler's 2007 roster had just two seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and 13 freshmen. Findley noted the improvement of his team toward the end of the season, particularly in winning close games. "We had very good leadership from Frank (Patano) and David (Giarratana) and that helped unite a young team," noted Findley. "Our strong finish should serve as a springboard to our off-season work. We're never satisfied with being good; we want to be great."

POST-SEASON HONORS: Junior Frank Patano was named third team on the 2007 NSCAA/adidas All-Great Lakes Region team, chosen by members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Earlier, four Bulldogs were among the players honored on the 2007 All-Horizon League Team. Patano, junior Eduardo Garcia and sophomore Boris Gatzky each were named to the All-League Second Team, while Gatzky and freshman Kyle Pateros each picked up All-Newcomer recognition.

BULLDOG BITS: Sophomore Boris Gatzky, a transfer from Gardner-Webb playing in his first season for the Bulldogs, wound up tied for third in the Horizon League in scoring with 19 points. He tied for first in the league in assists (7) and for fourth in the circuit in goals (6). The young Butler midfielder finished third in the league in shots with 55...Frank Patano stands seventh on Butler's all-time list for goals with 24, four shy of Scott Weiger, 1990-93, in sixth place...Butler goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler finished sixth in the league in saves with 65. He had two shutouts in 16 starts for the Bulldogs...Butler led the Horizon League in points (5.35), goals (1.85) and assists (1.65). The team's 107 points are the seventh-highest total in school history, while the 33 assists tied for the sixth-highest total ever at Butler. The 37 goals were the ninth-highest total in Butler history.