No. 21 Butler Meets Cleveland State In League Semifinals

No. 21 Butler Meets Cleveland State In League Semifinals

Nov. 13, 2008

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FINAL FOUR: Butler, ranked No. 21 in the latest College Soccer News poll, will face Cleveland State in the first semifinal game of the 2008 Horizon League Men's Soccer Championship in Chicago on Friday, Nov. 14. The match between the second-seeded Bulldogs and No. 3 Cleveland State is set for 5 p.m. (CT, 6 p.m. in Indianapolis) at Flames Field on the UIC campus. The second semifinal match will send No. 5 Loyola against top seed UIC at 7:30 p.m. Butler (13-2-4, 5-0-3 Horizon League) will be meeting Cleveland State (8-7-3, 5-2-1 HL) for the second straight match. The two teams met on Nov. 2 at Butler and played to a 1-1 tie. That outcome knocked Butler out of the No. 1 spot in the league standings and stripped the Bulldogs of the right to host the league tournament. Cleveland State defeated Wright State, 2-1, to advance to the tournament semifinals. The winners of Friday night's semifinals matches will meet on Sunday, Nov. 16, for the league title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship.

Butler owns four Horizon League Tournament titles (1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001).

ALL-LEAGUE: Six Butler players were honored on the 2008 All-Horizon League Team, released by the league office on Nov. 6. Seniors Eduardo Garcia and Frank Patano were named first team All-League, while juniors Boris Gatzky and Nick Hegeman and sophomore Kyle Pateros all were selected second team All-League. Freshman Matt Hedges was chosen to the League All-Newcomer Team. Patano, Garcia and Gatzky all were second team All-League picks a year ago.

POLLING DATA: Butler has climbed into the "Top 25" in three national soccer polls. The Bulldogs are No. 21 in the College Soccer News Top 30 national poll and No. 25 in both the Soccer America Men's Top 25 and the NSCAA/adidas Division I Rankings. Butler is receiving votes in the Soccer Times National Poll. The Bulldogs are ninth in the NSCAA/adidas Great Lakes Region Poll.

SET-UP MAN: Senior Eduardo Garcia heads into Horizon League Tournament play with a No. 2 national ranking in assists per game. The Butler forward owns a league-high 13 assists on the season, and his 0.68 assists per game average trails only national leader Corben Bone of Wake Forest (0.83). Garcia has had three assists in a match twice this season, and he posted 10 assists against Horizon League foes. His 13 assists on the year broke the previous Butler single season record of 12, set by Scott Lawler in 1989.

Eduardo Garcia is tied for third on Butler's all-time assist chart with 20 career assists.

DEFENSIVE MARK: The Bulldogs set a school single season record with ten shutouts in 2008. Four previous Butler teams had recorded nine shutouts in a season, the most recent being the 1998 Butler squad. The Bulldogs have allowed just 15 goals in 19 matches this season and seven goals in eight Horizon League matches.

BULLDOG BITS: Senior Frank Patano continues to lead the Horizon League in scoring with 27 points. He's first in the league in goals scored (12) and first in game-winning goals (5)...Eduardo Garcia ranks third in the Horizon League in points with 19. He has three goals to go with his league-high 13 assists...Sophomore Kyle Pateros stands fifth in the league in goals (6), and he's tied for eighth in the league in points (14)...Junior goalkeeper Nick Hegeman is third in the league in shutouts (7) and second in shutouts per game (0.47). Hegeman is third in the league and 29th in the NCAA Division I in goals against average (0.75)...Butler posted the Horizon League's first unbeaten league record in five years.