Bulldogs Continue Climb In National Rankings

TOP 20:  Butler, unbeaten through the first three weeks of the season, continues to climb in the national soccer polls.  The Bulldogs are ranked 19th or higher in five of the men’s soccer national polls and have moved up to No. 3 in the Great Lakes Region.  This week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll has Butler listed at No. 17, while the Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48 poll has the Bulldogs at No. 16.  Goal.com gives Butler it’s highest ranking at No. 7, Soccer America has the Bulldogs at No. 17, Soccer Times has Butler tied for 19th and College Soccer News ranks the Bulldogs No. 26.  Butler continues to be the highest-ranked team from Indiana in the Great Lakes Region.  The defending champion Bulldogs will begin Horizon League play on the road this week with visits to Green Bay on Friday (Sept. 24) and Milwaukee on Sunday (Sept. 26).        

Butler is 5-0 for the fifth time in school history.  Butler’s last 5-0 start was in 2005.
      
SITE SWITCH:  Butler’s game at Milwaukee on Sunday, Sept. 26, has been moved to Concordia University in Mequon, Wis., due to field construction at the Panthers’ Engelmann Field.  The match will start a 3 p.m. (CT, 4 p.m. in Indianapolis).  

ULTIMATE WIN:  Butler, playing away from home for the fourth straight match, picked up its third shutout win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Oakland on Saturday, Sept. 18.  The match was played at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich.  Sophomore Julian Cardona ended a scoreless deadlock in the match with a goal at 56:51.  Freshman Austin Oldham centered the ball from the right corner and Cardona finished the play with a shot to the back of the net from ten yards out.  The goal was Cardona’s second of the season and the eighth of his young Butler career.

Julian Cardona has six game-winning goals in 24 matches with the Bulldogs.

GOAL FREE ZONE:  Goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler recorded his third shutout this season and the 13th of his Butler career in the Bulldogs’ 1-0 victory over Oakland.  Knopfler had three saves in the victory, including two in the final nine minutes.  In five matches this season, the Butler goalkeeper has allowed just two goals while recording 13 saves.  His 13 career shutouts places him third on Butler’s all-time list, just 0.5 shutouts behind John Cone (1990-93) in second place.  Alan Placek (1994-97) holds Butler’s all-time record with 23 career shutouts.

Fabian Knopfler ranks 12th in the NCAA Division I in goals against average (0.40).  

BULLDOG BITS:  Butler midfielder Ben Sippola currently is tied for sixth in the NCAA Division I in points per game (2.20).  He’s tied for 14th in total points (11) and tied for 19th in goals per game (0.80).  Sippola leads the Horizon League in points, and he’s tied for first in the league in goals (4).  The Butler senior is tied for second in the league in assists (3)..Senior goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler stands 11th on Butler’s all-time list for goalie saves with 121.  He trails Jason Richarz (1998-2001) in tenth place by five saves.  Knopfler is tied for 24th in the NCAA in save percentage (.867)...Senior Kyle Pateros, junior Matt Hedges and freshman Adekunle Oluyedun are among five players tied for sixth place in the Horizon League in scoring with five points apiece...Freshman Austin Oldham picked up his first career assist in Butler’s win against Oakland...Butler leads the Horizon League in goals (14), assists (15) and points (43).