September 13, 2007

Bulldogs Close Tournament Stretch At Northern Illinois

Sept. 13, 2007

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TOURNAMENT TESTED: Butler will compete in its third consecutive invitational tournament when it visits DeKalb, Ill., to participate in the NIU-adidas/Baymont Invitational on Friday and Sunday, Sept. 14 & 16. The Bulldogs (2-0-2) will square off against Northwestern at 2 p.m. (CT) on Friday, Sept. 14, in the opening round of the tournament, and then meet host Northern Illinois at 12 noon on Sunday, Sept. 14, in the final round. All matches in the four-team tournament will be played at the Huskie Soccer Complex. The Bulldogs, coming off back-to-back ties at the WKU Invitational, will face two formidable opponents at the Northern Illinois tournament. Northwestern advanced to the quarterfinals of last year's NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship last year, and the Wildcats boast a 3-0-1 record and a #10 national ranking this season. Northern Illinois, owning a 10-match home field winning streak, is 1-1-2 this season, but the loss came to #4 Indiana and one of the ties was against #9 Notre Dame. Butler had a pair of double-overtime matches last weekend in Bowling Green, Ky. The Bulldogs battled to a 0-0 standoff against host Western Kentucky in the opening round of the tournament and then settled for a 3-3 deadlock with tournament champ Appalachian State on the final day of the event.

Butler is unbeaten through four matches for the fifth time in school history.

DEADLOCKED: Butler came within six minutes of recording its second consecutive tournament championship last weekend. The Bulldogs, who won the Flyer Classic a week earlier, led Appalachian State, 3-1, with six minutes remaining, but the Mountaineers scored twice into the closing minutes to send the match into overtime. The final draw gave the tournament crown to Appalachian State, based on the Mountaineers' first round win over IUPUI. Three of the four matches at the WKU Invitational ended in a tie.

HONOR SQUAD: Butler had three players named to the All-Tournament team at the Bowling Green WKU Invitational. Junior Frank Patano, who scored his fourth goal of the season in Butler's match with Appalachian State, and sophomore Boris Gatzky, who picked up his second assist of the season in the meet, each earned All-Tournament recognition for the second consecutive week. Freshman Connor Burt, who helped the Bulldogs post a shutout in the opening round, picked up his first All-Tournament award.

BLANK CHECK: Junior Fabian Knopfler recorded his first Butler shutout in the Bulldogs' double-overtime match with Western Kentucky. The first-year Butler goalkeeper had seven saves in the contest, including three in the two overtime periods. Earlier this season, Knopfler joined with junior Nick Hegeman on a combined shutout of Sacramento State. Knopfler posted 11 total saves in the two tournament matches in Kentucky.

BULLDOG BITS: Butler attempted 36 shots in the two tournament matches in Kentucky, including a season-high 25 against Appalachian State...The Bulldogs had two players tally their first collegiate goal in the match with Appalachian State. Freshman Jacob Capito scored his first Butler goal at 35:53 in the match off an assist by freshman Dustin Mares. And freshman Connor Burt posted his first collegiate goal 15 minutes later, with an assist from sophomore Boris Gatzky...Junior Frank Patano is tied for first in the Horizon League in both points (9) and goals (4). He's third in the league in shots (15)...Boris Gatzky is tied for the league lead in shots (17), and he's tied for second in the league in assists (2). Jacob Capito also has two assists...Junior goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler ranks fourth in the Horizon League in save percentage (.792), in total saves (19) and in goals against average (1.15)...Butler leads the Horizon League in points (28), goals (10), assists (8) and shots (70). The Bulldogs are fourth in the league in goals against average (1.12)...Butler will play its first home match of the season on Sept. 20 against Dayton at Kuntz Stadium.