INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Bulldogs return to the Butler Bowl in the midst of a four-match winning streak as they prepare to host Seattle for the first time in program history on Friday night followed by an afternoon contest against Eastern Michigan on Sunday.
The Bulldogs have won four-straight matches after losing the season opener at Louisville 2-0. The winning streak got started with a 3-0 road win at Indiana State and another 3-0 win over Northern Kentucky in the home opener moved the streak to two.
A tough overtime battle at Bowling Green nearly ended the run, but the Bulldogs came through in the first overtime to earn a 2-1 win and the most recent victory came on Labor Day as the Bulldogs traveled to IPFW to defeat the Mastodons 2-0.
Sophia Maccagnone leads a high-powered attack for Butler with three goals and four assists in just five games. The offense has been a bright spot so far this season as Butler has controlled the action taking 100 shots compared to just 50 from their opponents.
The Bulldog defense has also been impressive early in the year by recording three shutouts. No team has been able to score a goal against Butler in the first 45 minutes of action as the team is outscoring opponents 6-0 in the first half of play.
The Redhawks are 2-1 overall heading into Friday night's contest at the Butler Bowl. Seattle picked up back-to-back wins in their last two contests after dropping the season opener 3-1 to Washington State. A 2-0 decision at Eastern Washington gave the team their first win of the year and the Redhawks most recently defeated Boise State 2-1 in overtime. Two of Seattle's first three games have been played at home, yet their biggest win of the year came on the road at Eastern Washington.
Four different student-athletes have scored at least one goal for Seattle early in the 2013 season. Julia Besagno leads the club with two goals and forward Stephanie Verdoia has also impacted matches with one goal and one assist on the year.
Sophomore goalkeeper Brianna Smallidge has kept the Redhawks in games by recording seven saves through her first three games. Smallidge and freshman Natasha Howe earned WAC Player of the Week honors on Monday as Smallidge made three saves vs. the Broncos and Howe came off the bench to score the game-winning goal in overtime vs. Boise State.
Scouting Eastern Michigan
The Eagles put together a challenging 2013 non-conference schedule and are now 1-2 heading into the weekend. EMU defeated Detroit 3-2 in the season opener, but have lost two straight matches to Big Ten opponents in No. 21 Ohio State (2-1 OT) and No. 11 Michigan (2-1 OT).
Two more Big Ten opponents appear on the schedule in the coming days as the Eagles play at Indiana on Friday, Sept. 6 then continue with Michigan State on Sunday, Sept. 15 after facing Butler on Sept. 8.
The Eagle offense is led by the duo of Cara Cutaia and Angela Vultaggio. Cutaia has a team-high two goals on the year and Vultaggio is actively involved at the forward position with one assist. Defensively, Eastern Michigan plays sophomore Megan McCabe between the posts. McCabe has played well so far in 2013, notching 17 saves while only allowing two goals.
Friday Night Game Promotions
Top Soccer Night
- All Top Soccer participants will receive free admission to Friday night's match.
Butler Bulldog Soccer Camp Night
- All Butler Bulldog campers will receive free admission to Friday night's match.
Soccer Poster Giveaway
- The first 50 fans to enter the Butler Bowl will be presented with a free 2013 Women's Soccer Poster.
Meet the Bulldogs
- The Bulldogs will be available after the match on Friday to meet fans and sign autographs. The team will greet fans at the center circle of the field.
Friday night's match between Butler and Seattle is the first-ever meeting between the two programs. Sunday's contest between the Bulldogs and Eastern Michigan will be the fourth overall meeting. Each team has one win to their credit as the series is tied at 1-1-1.
L, 1-0 at Eastern Michigan – 2012
W, 2-1 vs. Eastern Michigan – 2011
T, 1-1 vs. Eastern Michigan - 2000
Ready… Aim… Fire!
Sophomore Sophia Maccagnone took 11 shots at Bowling Green on Saturday, Aug. 31 moving her into a tie for fourth place all-time for most shots taken in a single match.
Kaylor from the Corner
Junior midfielder Stephanie Kaylor has been a weapon for Butler offensively by recording four assists in just five games. Kaylor creates a scoring opportunity every time she takes a corner kick as the junior has now climbed to eighth all-time with 13 career assists.
Senior Eyes Shutout Record
Julie Burton was just one shutout away from tying the Butler single-season record last year as she ended her junior campaign with seven. Burton has a realistic shot to make a run at the record again this year as she currently has three shutouts through the first five games of the season. Burton's career shutout total has now moved to 11, placing her into a tie for second all-time in the category.
One year after claiming Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors, Sophia Maccagnone is back on the attack for Butler in 2013 leading the team with three goals and four assists. She has 10 points and 10 shots on goal for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs will play No. 11 Michigan in the final game of their three-match home series on Sunday, Sept. 15. The Wolverines climbed from No. 14 to No. 11 in the polls after starting the season 4-0-0.