Bulldogs Face Two Home Matches

Bulldogs Face Two Home Matches

COMING HOME:  Butler will play back-to-back home matches for the only time this season when it hosts UIC on Saturday, Oct. 8, and No. 10 Indiana on Wednesday, Oct. 12.  Both matches at the Butler Bowl will begin at 7 p.m. (ET).  The two contests could be Butler’s toughest back-to-back challenge of the season.  UIC, 1-0 in the Horizon League, boasts a league-best 6-2-2 overall record, and the Flames have won four of their last five outings, with the lone setback coming at Michigan State.  The Flames lead the league in goals per game (2.00) and feature the Horizon League’s leading scorer, Ivan Stanisavljevic.  The junior from Serbia boasts league-highs of seven goals, five assists and 19 points.  Indiana, ranked 10th heading into this weekend’s action, will be making its first visit to the Butler Bowl.  The Hoosiers, 6-2-2 through their first 10 matches, have a home date with No. 5 Creighton on Sunday, Oct. 9, before heading to Indianapolis.  Butler will be playing at home for just the third time this season when it takes the field against UIC.  The Bulldogs have played eight of their last nine matches away from home.

Butler is 19-2-5 in Horizon League matches since the start of the 2008 season.                        
ROAD SPLIT:  Butler came away with mixed results in back-to-back road contest last week.  The Bulldogs used a big second half to pull away from Horizon League foe Loyola and pick up a 3-1 victory in a match played in Chicago, Ill., on Saturday (Oct. 1).  Three days later, Butler made its shortest road trip of the season, but dropped a 3-0 non-league decision to IUPUI at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis.  The split left the Bulldogs at 5-4-1 on the season and 1-1 in Horizon League play.  The setback at IUPUI was only Butler’s second loss away from home this season.  The Bulldogs’ first road loss this season came at #7 Louisville.            

HEAT CHECK:  The Bulldogs unleashed three goals in a 14-minute stretch of the second half to dispose of Loyola.  Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Butler quickly tied the match on a goal by sophomore Adekunle Oluyedun six minutes into the final period.  Junior Blake Leyden then nailed the game-winner 12 minutes later when his corner kick crossed the goal line.  Two minutes after that, freshman Zach Steinberger added an insurance goal with a shot past Loyola goalkeeper Christian Krueger off Leyden’s indirect kick.  The three second-half goals matched Butler’s effort in a 3-2 victory over Western Illinois at the Dayton Invitational.

Twelve of Butler’s 16 goals this season have come in the second half.        

TAKING SHOTS:  Junior Blake Leyden entered last week’s action with six shots in Butler’s first eight matches.  He more than doubled that total in the Bulldogs’ contests at Loyola and IUPUI.  Leyden had a team-high four shots, including two shots on goal, at Loyola, and then he led the Bulldogs with five shots, including two on goal, at IUPUI.  Ironically, Leyden’s first goal of the season came when he wasn’t attempting a shot!  The Butler midfielder hooked a corner kick at Loyola that wound up crossing the goal line.

BULLDOG BITS:  Butler stands 48-11-10 since the start of the 2008 season...Freshman Zach Steinberger, who is tied for second in the Horizon League in assists, didn’t play in Butler’s match at IUPUI because of injury.  He’s expected back for Butler’s matches against UIC and Indiana.  Steinberger leads the Bulldogs with four assists, and he’s tied for second on the team in scoring with eight points...Sophomore Austin Oldham, who picked up an assist at Loyola, continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring with 13 points.  Oldham is tied for third in the Horizon League in goals with five...Butler leads the Horizon League in assists per game (1.70).