November 10, 2010

#6 Bulldogs Face Cleveland State In League Tournament

2010 Horizon League Men's Soccer Championship
#1 Butler vs. #4 Cleveland State
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RAPID REMATCH:  Butler won’t have to search long for a scouting report on its first opponent when it begins play in the 2010 Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship on Friday, Nov. 12.  The top-seeded Bulldogs will host #4 seed Cleveland State in the second semifinal of the tournament at 2:30 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl.  The first semifinal match will pit second-seeded Green Bay against #3-seed Loyola at 12 noon. The Bulldogs (15-0-2, 7-0-1 Horizon League) ended the regular season last Friday (Nov. 5) with a 0-0 tie against Cleveland State at the Butler Bowl.  It was one of just two blemishes on Butler’s 2010 record.  Cleveland State also handed Butler its last regular season loss in 2009.  The Bulldogs, who became just the second team in Horizon League history to complete the regular season with an unbeaten record, continued to be ranked sixth by the National Soccer Coaches of America Association.           

Butler is one of two unbeaten teams in the NCAA Division I.  The Bulldogs lead Division I in won-lost-tied percentage (.941).

LEAGUE RECOGNITION:  Butler senior Ben Sippola was named Horizon League Player of the Year and league Offensive Player of the Year, while junior Matt Hedges was selected at the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.  Sippola currently leads the league in assists (9) and ranks second in the circuit in total points (23).  Hedges earned the league’s top defensive award for the second consecutive year.  He helped the Bulldogs lead the league and rank fourth in the NCAA Division I in goals against average (0.45).  Butler head coach Kelly Findley, who’s guided the Bulldogs to back-to-back regular season league titles, was named Horizon League Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year..  
 
ALL-LEAGUE:  The Bulldogs had a league-high eight players recognized on the 2010 All-Horizon League  team, chosen by league coaches.  Senior Ben Sippola and junior Matt Hedges were selected first team All-League, while seniors Fabian Knopfler, Conner Burt and Kyle Pateros and freshman Adekunle Oluyedun were tabbed second team.  Oluyedun was joined by freshmen teammates Jordan Burt and Austin Oldham on the league’s All-Newcomer Team.

RATINGS GAME:  Despite a tie in its final match, Butler remained in the “Top 10” in all of the national college soccer polls.  The Bulldogs are ranked #6 by both Soccer America and Goal.com, while College Soccer News and Soccer Times have Butler at No. 7.  Butler is ninth in the Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48 poll.  The Bulldogs continue to be ranked third in the Great Lakes Region, behind the nation’s top two teams, Louisville and Akron.    

BULLDOG BITS:  Butler is hosting the Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship for the second consecutive year.  The Bulldogs have reached the league’s title game seven times and captured the tournament crown four times...Butler ranks seventh in the NCAA Division I in total goals (38) and eighth in the nation in scoring offense (2.24).  The Bulldogs lead the Horizon League in both categories...The nine shutouts the Bulldogs have recorded this season are the second-most in school history.  Two years ago, head coach Kelly Findley’s club had a school-record 10 shutouts...Goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler continues to lead the Horizon League in goals against average (0.478) and shutouts (8).  Knopfler ranks fourth in the NCAA in goals against average.  The Reutlingen, Germany native stands seventh on Butler’s all-time list for saves with 143..Senior Ben Sippola ranks ninth in the NCAA Division I in total assists (9) and 11th in assists per game (0.53).  His nine assists are tied for fourth-most on Butler’s all-time single season chart.