INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – No. 11 Michigan will visit the Butler Bowl on Sunday afternoon as the Bulldog women's soccer program looks to build on a promising start to the 2013 season. The eighth all-time meeting between the two programs will start at 1 p.m.
About Butler (4-1-2)
The Bulldogs haven't lost a match since Aug. 23 when the Louisville Cardinals posted a 2-0 win over Butler in the season opener. Four-straight wins followed the setback, pushing their overall record to 4-1 and two recent ties now have the Bulldogs at 4-1-2.
The Butler offense has been active this year outscoring opponents 12-5. The team has taken 140 shots, including 62 shots on goal compared to just 68 shots, 28 on goal from their opponents. The Bulldogs average 20 shots per game and have twice as many corner kicks through seven games than their opponents.
Defensively, Julie Burton has helped the team post three shutouts by making 23 saves in her seven starts. Burton's goals against average is down to 0.66, just a few points lower than her single-season school record of 0.69 from the 2012 season.
Burton's name can be found all over the women's soccer career record book as she continues to climb the ranks in shutouts, saves, goals against average, and minutes.
Scouting No. 11 Michigan (5-0-0)
Michigan remains at No. 11 in the poll this week after recently defeating two ranked opponents in No. 21 San Diego State and No. 22 Pepperdine. The Wolverines haven't been ranked this high since 2002, when the team ended the year at No. 11.
The Wolverines will host the Detroit Titans on Thursday night. A win would give Michigan its best start in program history. Both the 1997 and 2002 Michigan teams started the year 5-0-0, but lost in their sixth match of the season.
No Michigan opponent has been able to score more than one goal against the Wolverines this season. Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin has kept the opposition off the scoreboard with 13 saves this year. She was recently named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after recording three saves in a shutout win over Pepperdine on Sept. 6.
The Michigan offense is led by senior forward Nkem Ezurike, who needs just six goals to become the school's all-time scoring leader. Her next goal will tie her for third on the list and it will also help her advance on the all-time points list where she is also ranked fourth.
Michigan holds a 5-2 advantage over Butler in the all-time series. The two programs met last year at the UM Soccer Stadium as the Wolverines recorded a 3-0 victory to increase the spread.
The Wolverines have won five-straight over Butler, but the Bulldogs did at one time hold a 2-0 series lead over Michigan as they won the first-ever meeting 3-2 in 1995 under head coach Bryan Blitz. Coach Blitz had a winning formula against Michigan as he also beat the Wolverines in 1996 by the final score of 2-0 in the season opener.
Butler women's soccer fans that are unable to attend the game can watch the webcast for free courtesy of ButlerSports.com. Simply click here for live video.
Eastern Michigan Connection
Both Michigan and Butler played the Eastern Michigan Eagles earlier in the 2013 season. The Bulldogs tied EMU 1-1 and the Wolverines escaped with a 2-1 overtime win.
Ready… Aim… Fire!
Sophomore Sophia Maccagnone took 11 shots at Bowling Green on Saturday, Aug. 31 moving her into a tie for fourth place all-time for most shots taken in a single match.
Two Ties in 2005
The Bulldogs tied Seattle 1-1 on Friday Sept. 6 and then ended the weekend with another 1-1 tie against Eastern Michigan on Sunday. The last time the Butler women's soccer program recorded two ties in back-to-back games was back during the 2005 Hawaii trip as Butler tied Hawaii 1-1 on Sept. 23 and stayed on the island to tie Robert Morris the next day 1-1.
Kaylor from the Corner
Junior midfielder Stephanie Kaylor has been a weapon for Butler offensively by recording four assists. Kaylor creates a scoring opportunity every time she takes a corner kick as the junior has now climbed to eighth all-time with 13 career assists.
Senior Eyes Shutout Record
Julie Burton was just one shutout away from tying the Butler single-season record last year as she ended her junior campaign with seven. Burton has a realistic shot to make a run at the record again this year as she currently has three shutouts moving her career total to 11. The senior is now tied for second all-time alongside Nancy Keys who recorded 11 shutouts from 1991-93.
Sophia Maccagnone made the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll by scoring two goals and adding an assist in a 1-0-2 week (Sept. 2-Sept. 8). The sophomore is originally from Shelby Township, Mich. where she played soccer at Eisenhower High School which is located roughly three hours away from Ann Arbor.
Butler has two more road non-conference matches on the schedule before the start of BIG EAST competition. The Bulldogs will face Wright State on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. and wrap-up the weekend with a road match at IUPUI on Sunday, Sept. 22.
The BIG EAST schedule opens with Butler playing at Villanova on Thursday, Sept. 26. The Bulldogs will stay on the road to play Seton Hall on Sunday, Sept. 29.