Butler Men’s Soccer Faces Challenging 2013 Schedule
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- The Butler men's soccer team will be challenged early and often by a 2013 schedule that features a new conference, five first-time foes and a significant portion of last year's NCAA Tournament field. The Bulldogs will play 18 regular season matches and two exhibition contests during the upcoming slate.
The 2013 Butler schedule features ten teams that competed in last year's NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship, including three of the tournament's "Final Four" teams. At the top of that list is defending national champion Indiana. The Hoosiers will visit the Butler Bowl on Wednesday, Sept. 25, for a match that will start at 7:30 p.m.
Also visiting Butler this fall are national semifinalist Creighton (Oct. 23) and tournament teams Brown (Sept. 22), St. John's (Oct. 26) and Xavier (Nov. 8). Other NCAA Tournament teams on this year's Butler schedule are national runner-up Georgetown (Oct. 19), Marquette (Oct. 9), Louisville (Sept. 6) and Northwestern (Sept. 15). The Bulldogs also will face NCAA Tournament team Michigan State in an exhibition match in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Aug. 24.
"This year's schedule is extremely challenging, perhaps the toughest Butler has ever faced," said Butler's third-year head coach Paul Snape. "The non-conference schedule includes some familiar rivals and several national powerhouses and that should help us get ready for a very, very tough conference schedule."
Butler will meet Eastern Illinois in an exhibition match at the Butler Bowl on Aug. 19, and then open the regular season at home with a match against first-time foe Western Michigan on Aug. 30. That will be the first of four non-conference home matches for the Bulldogs. Houston Baptist will make its first visit to the Butler Bowl on Sept. 9, followed by the matches with Brown and Indiana.
"Our fans will be treated to some of the highest-calibre soccer in the whole country," added Snape. "Obviously, Indiana is the national champ, but there are other great teams coming to Butler and our fans will have a chance to see soccer played at a very high level."
Butler's non-conference road slate includes matches at IUPUI (Sept. 3), Northern Illinois (Sept. 13) and Evansville (Oct. 1), in addition to the Northwestern and Louisville contests.
And for the second straight year, Butler will be heading into a new conference. After one season in the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Bulldogs will begin play in the new BIG EAST, arguably one of the top men's soccer leagues in the nation. The new, 10-team league features national semifinalists Georgetown and Creighton, plus NCAA Tournament teams Xavier, Marquette and St. John's.
Butler will open BIG EAST play at home against first-time opponent Villanova on Sept. 28. The Bulldogs also will host DePaul on Oct. 5, in addition to the matches against Creighton, St. John's and Xavier. Butler's conference road slate begins at Marquette and includes matches against first-time foes Seton Hall (Oct. 12), Georgetown and Providence (Nov. 2). The BIG East Conference Tournament will begin on Nov. 12.