Bulldogs Host Eastern Illinois In Exhibition Contest

Bulldogs Host Eastern Illinois In Exhibition Contest
Jeff Adkins (Photo by Brent Smith)

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- The Butler men's soccer team will get its first 2013 test against outside competition when it hosts Eastern Illinois in an exhibition match on Tuesday, Aug. 20.  The contest will be played in the Butler Bowl at 7 p.m. (ET) and admission is free.

Butler is preparing for a new conference for the second consecutive year.  The Bulldogs, who made the switch from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 Conference a year ago, are heading into the new BIG EAST, featuring 10 men's soccer teams.  The new conference includes two teams from the 2012 College Cup, NCAA Division I runner-up Georgetown and Creighton, plus Marquette, currently ranked No. 12 in the NSCAA Preseason Poll.

Head coach Paul Snape, beginning his third season with the Bulldogs, returns 11 players who started at least 10 matches last year, when Butler posted a 5-8-5 record.  Included in that group are the team's top five scorers, led by sophomore Jeff Adkins and junior Zach Steinberger.  

Adkins led the Bulldogs in scoring with five goals and five assists in 2012, while earning a spot on the A-10 All-Rookie Team.  Steinberger, who earned second team A-10 All-Conference honors, finished with four goals and four assists.

On the defensive side, the Bulldogs will look to junior Brandon Fricke, who was named to the A-10 All-Academic Team last fall, and goalkeeper Jon Dawson.  A starter in all 18 matches in 2012, Dawson ranked fifth in the A-10 in saves with 87, while compiling a 1.44 goals against average.

Snape also has added a promising group of newcomers, who will challenge the returnees for playing time in 2013.

The match with Eastern Illinois will be the first of two exhibition contests for the Bulldogs.  Butler will travel to Michigan State for a second preseason test on Saturday, August 24.  The Bulldogs' regular season opener will be at home against Western Michigan on Friday, August 30.