Butler Picked Eighth In The BIG EAST
NDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler will face an uphill climb in its first men's soccer season in the BIG EAST, according to conference coaches. The Bulldogs, beginning their first season in the new 10-team conference, were tabbed eighth in the preseason poll of BIG EAST coaches.
Georgetown, the 2012 NCAA national runner-up, received seven first place votes from the coaches and was picked as the team to beat in the league race. Creighton, another team from last year's College Cup, picked up the other three first place votes and was tabbed second in the poll. Marquette was chosen third, followed by St. John's, Xavier, Villanova Providence, Butler, Seton Hall and DePaul.
The league coaches also selected a 14-player preseason All-BIG EAST Team, headed by Steve Neumann of Georgetown. Neumann, the 2012 College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player, was named BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Axel Sjoberg of Marquette and Tim Parker of St. John's shared Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors. Rafael Diaz of St. John's was selected Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year. The Bulldogs did not have a player selected to the all-league team.
Butler is heading into its third season under head coach Paul Snape and is facing its third conference in as many years. Snape guided Butler in the Horizon League in 2011 and in the Atlantic 10 Conference last fall. The Bulldogs return 11 players who started at least 10 matches last season, including the team's top five individual scorers and starting goalkeeper Jon Dawson.
The Bulldogs will begin BIG EAST play at home on Sept. 28 against Villanova. The nine-match conference slate also includes matches in the Butler Bowl against DePaul (Oct. 5), Creighton (Oct. 23), St. John's (Oct. 26) and Xavier (Nov. 8).
The BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship, featuring the top six teams in the final regular season standings, begins at campus sites on Nov. 12. The two two seeds will receive a bye to the semifinals, which will be held on Nov. 15. The conference championship match is slated for Nov. 17.
2013 BIG EAST Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Georgetown (7) 79
2. Creighton (3) 75
3. Marquette 63
4. St. John's 59
5. Xavier 49
6. Villanova 42
7. Providence 25
8. BUTLER 24
9. Seton Hall 18
10. DePaul 17