August 2, 2012

Bulldogs Picked Seventh In Atlantic 10

2012 Atlantic 10 Men's Soccer Poll

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler, preparing for its first season in the Atlantic 10 Conference, has been picked to finish in a tie for seventh place in the league, according to the 2012 A-10 Preseason Men’s Soccer Poll released by the league office on Thursday, Aug. 2.  The annual preseason poll was compiled by a vote of the league’s 16 men’s soccer head coaches.

Charlotte, the 2011 College Cup runner-up, was tabbed as the favorite in this fall’s league race, while two-time defending conference champion Xavier earned the second place nod.  New member VCU was picked third, Saint Louis was slated fourth, Fordham was picked fifth and George Washington was placed in the sixth position.

Butler, coming off a tie for seventh place in the 2011 Horizon League race, and La Salle shared the No. 7 spot to round out the top half of the A-10 coaches’ poll.  Duquesne was picked to finish ninth, followed by Dayton, Temple, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Richmond, St. Bonaventure and Saint Joseph’s.

Charlotte, ranked No. 2 in the final 2011 NSCAA Coaches’ Poll, returns nine starters from a year ago, when the 49ers made their historic run to the College Cup final.  Leading Charlotte’s returnees is 2011 A-10 Rookie of the Year Guiseppe Gentile, who finished the season with 10 goals and two assists.  Xavier, trying to become the first A-10 team to win three consecutive men’s soccer crowns, returns its entire starting lineup from a year ago.  The Musketeers fell to West Virginia, 2-1, in last year’s NCAA Championship.

Butler, entering its second season under head coach Paul Snape, has nine starters returning from last year’s 7-8-3 squad.  Included in that group is junior Austin Oldham (above right), who led the team in scoring with 18 points last season, and sophomore Zach Steinberger, who finished second in scoring with 13 points.  Also back are goalkeepers Jon Dawson and Andy Holte, who combined for a 1.50 goals against average.  The Bulldogs allowed just seven goals in their final eight 2011 matches.

The Bulldogs will play their first Atlantic 10 match on Oct. 5 when they visit Dayton.  The first A-10 team to visit Butler will be Richmond on Oct. 12.  Other home A-10 matches for the Bulldogs will be against VCU (Oct. 14), George Washington (Oct. 26) and league-favorite Charlotte (Oct. 28).

The A-10 Men’s Soccer Championship, which has expanded to eight teams for 2012, will be held Nov. 8-11 at Charlotte’s Transamerica Field.