No. 8 Butler has a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed for the Horizon League Men's Soccer Tournament on Saturday, while Cleveland State hosts No. 1 Akron, highlighting the weekend in Horizon League men's soccer action.
Cleveland State (7-9-0, 4-3-0 Horizon) takes a break from League play on Saturday, when they bring No. 1-ranked Akron (14-0-1) to Krenzler Field for a 2 p.m. ET match. The Vikings, who are playing host to the No. 1 team for the first time in program history, are coming off an important 2-1 Horizon League win over Wright State, helping them stay in the pack for a conference tournament bid.
The Vikings will look to continue their home-field advantage, as
Butler (14-0-1, 6-0-0 Horizon) matched Akron's win total on Wednesday night, dominating #25 Indiana in Bloomington, 4-1, in front of 2,488 fans. Ranked eighth in the latest National Soccer Coaches of America Association poll, the Bulldogs can wrap up the top seed in the Horizon League Tournament with one point in their last two League matches.
The first chance comes Saturday at Detroit (7-6-2, 4-2-0 Horizon), where the Titans sit six points behind Butler and need a victory to maintain hopes of hosting the conference tournament. In its last five matches, Detroit holds a 4-0-1 record, the third-longest unbeaten streak in the Horizon League, presently.
While Butler holds the longest unbeaten streak in the League, the second best belongs to Green Bay (10-4-1, 4-2-0 Horizon), which is riding a six-match winning streak after the return to health of two key players. JC Banks, the defending Horizon League Player of the Week, has scored nine goals during the streak, which is longest of head coach Tom Poitras's tenure.
The Phoenix will look to put distance between themselves and Loyola (3-9-2, 3-2-1 Horizon) at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, when they host the Ramblers. While Green Bay is on the positive side of a streak, Loyola finds itself on a four-match losing skid; however, only two of those losses have come in League play, limiting some of the damage for the Ramblers.
The team directly behind Loyola in the League standings, Milwaukee (5-8-2, 3-4-0 Horizon) will try to put a disappointing midweek loss behind when it hosts Wright State (4-10-1, 0-5-1 Horizon) in its conference finale. 3-3-0 in its last six matches, the Panthers could put direct pressure on UIC (6-9-0, 2-4-0 Horizon) with a win, maintaining at least a three-point cushion in the league standings.
UIC and Valparaiso (7-7-2, 1-5-0 Horizon) meet on Sunday, in what is shaping up to be a do-or-die game for the Crusaders, who sit three points behind the Flames. With two conference matches remaining, Valpo must win both and get help from Milwaukee and UIC, while UIC will try and keep pace with Milwaukee or tie them in the standings.
The Crusaders dropped a tough 1-0 decision at Green Bay last week, while UIC enters the match on a two-game winning streak, having defeated Eastern Illinois, 1-0, in a windy contest on Wednesday.
Tags: Butler - Men's Soccer · Cleveland State - Men's Soccer · Detroit - Men's Soccer · Green Bay - Men's Soccer · Loyola - Men's Soccer · Milwaukee - Men's Soccer · UIC - Men's Soccer · Valparaiso - Men's Soccer · Wright State - Men's Soccer