Butler Slate Includes Horizon League-Opener

HOME AND AWAY:  Butler will conclude a stretch of six matches away from home with a contest at IPFW on Wednesday (Sept. 21), before returning to the Butler Bowl for the first time since August 26.  The match at IPFW’s Hefner Soccer Complex is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. (ET).  Three days later, the Bulldogs will begin Horizon League play at home against Milwaukee on Saturday, Sept. 24.  The league-opener will follow Butler’s football game against Drake and will start at 5 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl.  The Bulldogs are looking to bounce back from a 4-0 loss at #7 Louisville.  That setback snapped Butler’s four-match unbeaten streak and dropped the Bulldogs to 3-2-1 on the year.  It was also Butler’s first loss in five matches away from the Butler Bowl.  IPFW is coming off a 4-0 loss at Belmont in the final match of the Lipscomb Invitational.  That outcome left the Mastodons at 3-5-1 on the season.  Butler defeated IPFW in last year’s season-opener at the Butler Bowl, 4-0.                        
      
LEAGUE START:  Butler was tabbed as the Horizon League preseason favorite in a poll of league coaches.  The Bulldogs, who received five first place votes in the preseason poll, have won back-to-back regular season titles in the league and captured the 2010 Horizon League Tournament championship.  Milwaukee received one first place vote and was tabbed third overall in the coaches’ preseason poll.  The Panthers, who tied for fifth in last year’s Horizon League regular season race, are coming of three consecutive 2-1 overtime losses, including two at last weekend’s UAB Classic.  Those three setbacks dropped Milwaukee to 3-4-0 on the year.    Butler defeated the Panthers in Milwaukee, 2-0, last season.  The match against Milwaukee will be the first Horizon League contest for new Butler head coach Paul Snape.            

Butler is unbeaten in its last 10 Horizon League regular season contests.

POWER PLAY:  The Bulldogs ran into one of the top teams in the nation and came out on the short end of a 4-0 final score at national power Louisville.  The Cardinals, ranked as high as No. 3 in some soccer polls and rated No. 7 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, rolled up a 24-6 advantage in shots in the match, while scoring a pair of goals each half.  Louisville was the national runner-up in Division I a year ago.      

SCORING LEADER:  Sophomore Austin Oldham was held without a shot in Butler’s lone match last week, but the second-year forward continues to lead the Horizon League in goals, while ranking second in the circuit in points.  Oldham has a league-best five goals in Butler’s first six matches, and he has 11 total points.  Surprisingly, he doesn’t rank among the “Top 10” individuals in the league in shots!  The Butler scoring ace has only attempted 14 shots this season and nine have been on goal.  He boasts a .643 shots-on-goal percentage!

Austin Oldham scored his first collegiate goal against IPFW last year.

BULLDOG BITS:  Butler stands 46-9-10 since the start of the 2008 season.  The Bulldogs are 18-1-5 in Horizon League matches over that stretch...Sophomore Adekunle Oluyedun and freshman Zach Steinberger shared Butler’s lead with two shots apiece at Louisville.  Oluyedun had the Bulldogs’ lone shot on goal in the match...Zach Steinberger is tied for second in the Horizon League in assists (3, 0.50) heading into this week’s action.  Steinberger, who played in Germany last year, joined the Bulldogs shortly before the start of the 2011 seasons...Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Andy Holte ranks fourth in the Horizon League in goals against average (1.24), save percentage (.778) and saves per game (4.67).  He’s 2-0-1 in his three Butler starts.