Sept. 3, 2008
STATE GAMES: Butler, fresh from a season-opening tournament championship, will play its first home match of the season when it hosts IPFW at the Butler Bowl on Thursday, Sept. 4. The 4 p.m. (ET) contest will be the first of two straight matches against Indiana foes and will be the only home appearance by the Bulldogs during the month of September. Following the home-opener, the Bulldogs will travel to Evansville to face the Purple Aces on Sunday, Sept. 7. The Evansville contest, slated for 3 p.m. (CT) at McCutchan Stadium, will start a string of six straight road matches for the Bulldogs. Butler opened the 2008 campaign with back-to-back victories at the Courtyard By Marriott East Classic, hosted by Louisville. It marked the second straight year that Butler opened the season with consecutive victories.
TOURNAMENT CHAMPS: For the third straight year, Butler captured a season-opening tournament title. The Bulldogs opened the 2008 campaign with a 3-0 victory over James Madison in the first round of the Courtyard By Marriott East Classic and then grabbed the tournament crown by defeating Northeastern, 2-0, in the second round. Host Louisville finished second in the four-team meet with a 1-0-1 record, followed by Northeastern (0-1-1) and James Madison (0-2-0). Butler won the Wright State adidas Cup to open the 2006 season and then captured the season-opening Courtyard By Marriott Flyer Classic last year.
Butler is 6-3-3 in tournament play in three seasons under head coach Kelly Findley.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Four Bulldogs were honored on the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the 2008 Courtyard By Marriott East Classic in Louisville, Ky. The 11-player honor squad included Butler seniors Frank Patano and Eduardo Garcia, junior Boris Gatzky and sophomore Ben Sippola. The four were joined by Chase Kreger, Austin Berry and Andre Boudreaus of Louisville, Lars Okland and Lewis Ehrlich of Northeastern and Joel Senior and Billy Swetra of James Madison. It was the second straight year that Patano, Gatzky and Sippola earned all-tournament recognition in a season-opening event.
POINT PRODUCTION: Senior Frank Patano wound up leading the Courtyard By Marriott East Classic in scoring with three goals in Butler's two matches. He scored the eventual game-winner in Butler's opening victory over James Madison and then tallied both of the Bulldogs' goals against Northeastern. The three goals boosted Patano's career scoring total to 62 points and lifted him into a tie with Jeff Kurtz (1989-92) for seventh place on Butler's all-time scoring list. Patano has 27 career goals, one shy of Scott Weiger (1990-93) in sixth place on Butler's all-time list.
Frank Patano has scored 11 goals in his last seven Butler matches, dating back to last season.
BLANK CHECK: Junior goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler had two shutouts in 2007, his first season with the Bulldogs. He matched that total in the season-opening 2008 Courtyard By Marriott East Classic. Knopfler blanked James Madison in the first round of the tournament and then shutout Northeastern in the second round. He had four saves in the two matches, including three against Northeastern. His four career shutouts rank ninth on Butler's all-time list for goalkeeper shutouts.
BULLDOG BITS: Freshman defender Matt Hedges was given his first collegiate start in Butler's season-opening match against James Madison, and he wound up scoring his first collegiate point. Hedges had an assist on Butler's second goal in the victory...The Bulldogs are unbeaten in season-openers under head coach Kelly Findley.