Bulldogs Visit Ohio State In Week’s Lone Action

Bulldogs Visit Ohio State In Week’s Lone Action

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SINGLE TEST:  Butler, unbeaten in four outings, will face the first of two Big Ten foes on its 2009 schedule when it visits Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State on Friday (Sept. 18).  The match at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium is slated to start at 5 p.m. (ET).   The two teams are meeting for the first time since 2006, when Ohio State handed Butler a 2-0 setback at the Butler Bowl.  That match was played in Kelly Findley’s first season as head coach of the Bulldogs.  Butler improved to 4-0 on the season with victories over No. 25 South Carolina and Presbyterian at last weekend’s adidas Gamecock Classic in South Carolina, while the Buckeyes climbed to 2-0-2 with a victory and a tie at last week’s Penn State Classic.  The Bulldogs will face their second Big Ten foe on Oct. 7 at Indiana.              

Butler’s last victory over a Big Ten opponent came against the No. 22-ranked Buckeyes, 1-0, at Ohio State in 2005.
CHAMPIONS:  The Bulldogs captured their third tournament championship under head coach Kelly Findley with back-to-back wins at the adidas Gamecock Classic in Columbia, S.C.  Butler opened the four-team tournament with a 1-0 upset of host South Carolina and then finished the title run with a 3-1 decision over Presbyterian.  South Carolina, which entered the tournament with a No. 25 national ranking and a 2-0 record, finished runner-up, followed by George Mason and Presbyterian.  Butler’s previous tournament titles under Findley came at the 2007 Courtyard by Marriott Flyer Classic and the 2008 Louisville Courtyard by Marriott East Classic.        

Butler is 4-0 for the first time since 2005, when the Bulldogs opened the season with five straight wins.   

ALL-TOURNAMENT:  Butler senior Boris Gatzky was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player, and he was one of four Bulldogs named to the All-Tournament Team at the adidas Gamecock Classic.  Gatzky led the Bulldogs with eight shots in the tournament, including six shots on goal.  He scored Butler’s first goal against Presbyterian, giving the Bulldogs a lead they never relinquished.  Also named to the All-Tournament Team from Butler were sophomore Matt Hedges, senior Kyle VondenBenken and junior Kyle Pateros.

NATIONAL ATTENTION:  Butler’s 4-0 start has begun to resonate with the voters in the national soccer polls.  The Bulldogs climbed to No. 17 in this week’s Soccer America poll and to No. 30 in the College Soccer News poll.  Butler is listed at No. 40 by Top Drawer Soccer.  The Bulldogs are ranked tenth in the Great Lakes Region.

GOAL STOPPER:  Senior goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler recorded his second shutout in as many starts this season in Butler’s 1-0 victory over #25 South Carolina.  The Reutlingen, Germany native had one save in the match, while helping Butler hand the Gamecocks their first setback of the season.  Knopfler has posted five shutouts in his last six Butler starts, and he boasts seven shutouts for his collegiate career.  He currently leads the Horizon League in goals against average (0.00), save percentage (1.000) and shutouts per game (1.00). 

BULLDOG BITS:  Sophomore Matt Hedges, who scored the game-winner in Butler’s upset of South Carolina, leads the Horizon League in game-winning goals with two.  The Butler defender has four goals in his young career and three have been game-winners...Senior Boris Gatzky continues to lead the Horizon League in shots (19) and shots per game (4.75).  He shares the league lead in goals (3), and he tops the circuit in goals per game (0.75)...Senior goalkeeper Nick Hegeman stands second in the Horizon League to teammate Fabian Knopfler in goals against average (0.50.).