July 12, 2007
Second-year head coach Kelly Findley will challenge his 2007 Butler men's soccer team with an ambitious, 20-match schedule that includes contests against six teams that participated in last year's NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship. The Bulldogs are slated to participate in three regular season tournaments and will have six other non-league matches, in addition to a full slate of Horizon League contests.
"I'm excited about our upcoming schedule," said Findley, who will have ten letterwinners on hand from last year's 7-11-2 club. "We have a good mix of opponents, and we'll be tested with some very good competition. We have a young team, and we'll be challenged in our non-league schedule. Our goal is to develop a winning culture and to compete for the Horizon League title."
Butler will open the 2007 campaign on August 20 at the University of Cincinnati, a team that played in last year's NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs will play their first home match at Varsity Field on August 25 against Xavier.
Findley will take his squad to three consecutive tournaments between August 31 and Sept. 16. The Bulldogs will face Sacramento State (Aug. 31) and St. Francis (Sept. 2) at the Dayton Tournament, before taking on Western Kentucky (Sept. 7) and Appalachian State (Sept. 9) at the Western Kentucky Tournament. The three-meet run will conclude with matches against NCAA Tournament teams Northwestern (Sept. 14) and Northern Illinois (Sept. 16) at the Northern Illinois Tournament. Northwestern advanced to the quarterfinals of last year's NCAA Tournament, before losing to eventual national champ UC Santa Barbara.
Other NCAA Tournament participants on Butler's 2007 slate are Indiana (Sept. 26), UIC (Oct. 12) and Loyola (Oct. 14), all on the road. Indiana wound up ranked sixth in the final coaches' poll last year, and the Hoosiers were among the final 16 teams in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
In addition to the Xavier match, Butler will play non-league home contests against Dayton (Sept. 20 at Kuntz Stadium) and Evansville (Sept. 30 at Varsity Field). The Bulldogs also have a non-league match against IUPUI at Kuntz Stadium on Oct. 24. Butler's Horizon League matches at home will be against Milwaukee (Oct. 5 at Kuntz Stadium), Green Bay (Oct. 7 at Varsity Field), Detroit (Oct. 21 at Varsity Field) and Wright State (Nov. 1 at Varsity Field).
Butler's remaining league road contests will be at Valparaiso (Sept. 23) and at Cleveland State (Oct. 19). The first round match of the Horizon League Tournament is scheduled for Nov. 9, with league tournament quarterfinals slated for Nov. 11.