May 2, 2011

Butler Faces Challenging 2011 Men’s Soccer Schedule

2011 Butler Men's Soccer Schedule

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Matches against five teams from the 2010 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, including a date with national runner-up Louisville, highlight the 2011 Butler men’s soccer schedule.  The Bulldogs, under first-year head coach Paul Snape, will play an 18-match slate including six contests at the Butler Bowl.

Butler will face three NCAA Tournament teams in its first three matches of the season.  The Bulldogs will open the campaign at home against NCAA Tournament participant Bradley on August 26 and then head to the Michigan Invitational, where they’ll face two more national tournament foes.  Butler will meet Final Four participant and Snape’s former school, Michigan on Sept. 2 and then take on Oakland, Snape’s alma-mater, on Sept. 4.  Snape was an assistant coach at Michigan for eight seasons.

The Bulldogs, who also will participate in the Dayton Invitational on Sept. 9 & 11, will visit national runner-up Louisville on Saturday, Sept. 17.  The top-ranked Cardinals fell in the 2010 NCAA national championship match to Akron, 1-0.  Butler will close its run against NCAA Tournament foes on Oct. 12 when it hosts Indiana at the Butler Bowl.

Butler also will face three state foes in non-league matches.  The Bulldogs will visit IPFW on Sept. 21, IUPUI on Oct. 4 and Evansville on Oct. 21.  

“I want to have a schedule that has a blend of strong opponents from bigger conferences and a mix of local and state opponents to prepare us for play in the Horizon League,” said Snape, who was named Butler’s head coach in late January.  “The Midwest region is definitely the strongest region in the NCAA.  When you have teams like Akron, Louisville, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame in your region, that’s incredible.”

Butler will begin Horizon League play at home against Milwaukee on Sept. 24.  The Bulldogs also will host league foes UIC (Oct. 8), Cleveland State (Oct. 26) and Wright State (Nov. 5).  The regular season champion will host the Horizon League Tournament semifinals and finals, Nov. 11-13.

In addition to the 18-match regular season slate, Butler will face a pair of preseason exhibition tests, incuding a home match against NCAA Tournament foe Notre Dame.  Butler will make its 2011 debut under Snape against the Fighting Irish at the Butler Bowl on August 18.  The second exhibition match will be at Bowling Green on August 26.

The Bulldogs are coming off one of the most successful seasons in Butler men’s soccer history.  Butler compiled a 16-1-3 record, captured Horizon League regular season and tournament championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time.  The 16 wins were third most by a Butler men’s soccer team, and the Bulldogs became the first team in school history to finish with a single loss.  Butler was ranked #5 in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll.