September 27, 2007

Bulldogs Wrap Up Pre-League Play Against Evansville

Sept. 27, 2007

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HOME TURF: Butler will close out its pre-league slate and make its first appearance on campus when it hosts state foe Evansville on Sunday, Sept. 30, in what could prove to be quite an entertaining contest. The match, featuring two of the highest-scoring teams in the nation, is slated for 4 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl. The Bulldogs (4-3-2) began this week in a tie for 12th place in the nation in team scoring. One of the teams sharing that No. 12 spot is Evansville (4-4-0)! Both teams scored 18 goals in their first eight matches (2.25 pg). The two squads also feature two of the top individual goal scorers in the country. Butler forward Frank Patano and Evansville forward Ian McAuley are tied for 20th in the NCAA Division I in goals per game (0.71). A year ago, the Aces defeated Butler, 2-1 in overtime, in a match played in Evansville. The Bulldogs have played eight of their first nine matches outside of Indianapolis, and the team's one "home" match was played at Kuntz Stadium, several miles from the Butler campus. Following the Evansville match, Butler will host a pair of Horizon League opponents, UW-Milwaukee (Oct. 5) and Green Bay (Oct. 7).

Butler and Evansville have split the last two meetings in the series, with each team winning at home.

STATE DIVIDE: The Bulldogs split a pair of matches against Indiana foes this week. Butler opened the week with its first Horizon League match of the season and came away with a 4-1 decision over new league member Valparaiso on Sunday (Sept. 23). Three days later, Butler dropped a 2-0 decision at #19 Indiana. The Bulldogs scored less than eight minutes into the match at Valparaiso and then added three second-half goals to cruise to their first league win. The four goals matched Butler's highest single match output this season. Indiana blanked the Bulldogs on the strength of a solid performance by goalkeeper Chay Cain. The Indiana goal-tender posted six saves in the second half, while recording his second shutout of the season. The Hoosiers scored 64 minutes into the match to break a 0-0 deadlock and then added a second goal four minutes later.

RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Junior Frank Patano, who sat out Butler's match against Dayton after receiving a "red" card at Northern Illinois one match earlier, celebrated his return to the Bulldogs' lineup at Valparaiso with his fifth goal of the season. The Butler scoring leader took an in-bounds pass from sophomore Kyle VondenBenken and went one-on-one with Valparaiso goalkeeper Ryan Schwarz. Patano's shot found the back of the net and gave Butler the lead for good, just under eight minutes into the match.

Butler is 3-0-1 when Frank Patano has scored a goal this season.

BULLDOG BITS: Butler had two players record their first collegiate goal in the Bulldogs' Horizon League victory at Valparaiso. Freshman Michael Clayton scored from eight yards out at 65:15 of the match, to give Butler a 3-0 lead. Junior Ian Sweeney then tallied his first career goal 24 minutes later on a penalty kick...Freshman Connor Burt scored his second career goal and his first collegiate game-winner less than a minute into the second half at Valparaiso. Burt nailed a header into the back of the net, after a scramble off a corner kick, just 43 seconds into the final period...Junior Frank Patano ranks second in the Horizon League in points (11), points per game (1.57), goals (5) and goals per game (0.71). He's tied for fifth in the league in shots (19)...Newcomer Boris Gatzky continues to lead the league in shots (30) and shots per game (3.75). He's tied for third in points (9) and assists (3)...Butler goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler is tied for second in the Horizon League in saves (39), and he stands fourth in the circuit in save percentage (.750). Knopfler had six saves in Butler's victory at Valparaiso and three saves against #19 Indiana...Butler leads the Horizon League in shots (111), points (49) and goals (18). The Bulldogs are second in corners (46).