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Butler Eager To Increase Their Win Total And Move Upward In The Big East Heierarchy In 2024.

Bulldogs Have Some Work To Do On Both Sides Of The Ball.

Coach – Paul Snape – 14th season
Conference – Big East
2023 Record – 2-7-6, 1-3-4 in conference
2023 National Ranking – None
Five Year Win Total
2023 – 2
2022 – 10
2021 – 7
2020 – 4
2019 – 11
2024 Outlook

Butler was somewhat of an enigma last year. Despite the fact that they only won two games, they were consistently a problem for any team they faced as reflected in the fact that they had a program record six ties including draws in five of their last six contests. The Bulldogs will enter the 2024 season seeking to rebound from a 2-7-6 overall record and 1-3-4 mark in Big East play.

The decision of junior forward Palmer Ault to return is a big step in the right direction. Ault, a 2022 and 2023 All-Big East selection who was selected by the Colorado Rapids in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft, has been the Bulldogs top goals scorer and go-to guy the past two seasons with 16 goals and six assists. Expect another big year from Ault who is a proven goal scorer, but a key factor in regard to the program’s progress in 2024 will be the emergence of other playmakers to add balance to the attack. Balance makes a team much more difficult to defend. Sophomore forward Ryan Hannosh (2g, 3a), and senior forward Henri Kumwenda (2g, 2a) and redshirt junior midfielder Donovan Boone (0g, 2a) look to be among returning players who could provide an additional dimension to the offense.

Junior transfers Josemir Gomez from IUPUI and Sam Pitts-Eckersall from UNC-Ashville are among the newcomers with the potential to add an additional dimension to the offense. Both should contribute. Gomez was a two-time All-Horizon League member with 16 goals and five assists. Pitts-Eckersali was a two-time All-Big South Second team selection with nine goals and four assists.

The healthy return of senior defensive midfielder Joost de Schutter, a starter in 2022 who only played in two contests last year due to injury, will add stability and toughness in the center of the park. The backline will require some reloading due to departures. Senior Alejandro Moroso-Maza, a starter last year, junior Vygo Verkooijen who started 14 games last year, junior Lou-Kent Bosc who appeared in ten games, and redshirt freshman Nick Juarez are among returning backs who provide a good nucleus upon which to build in 2024. Graduate student Caleb Norris, the starter in goal last year, returns to anchor the defense with a year of starting experience under his belt.

The potential exists for Butler to increase their win total and move upward in the Big East hierarchy in 2024 but in order for that to happen two things must occur.

The first order of business is improving productivity and big play ability on the offensive side of the ball. Butler managed a total of only 13 goals last year. Compare that with the 2022 season in which they scored 43 goals and were 10-6-3 overall. Ault will again be the key ingredient but others need to add balance.

The Bulldogs also need to do a better job of putting together a full ninety minutes of play on both sides of the ball. Butler outscored opponents seven to five in the first half of play last year but in the second half they only scored six times while allowing opponents to find the back of the net a total of 20 times. Much will hinge on Butler’s ability to apply pressure on the offensive side of the ball without leaving themselves vulnerable on the defensive side of the ball.

The bottom line is that Butler under head coach Paul Snape should again be a tough opponent to face. Just how that will translate in terms of wins and losses remains to be seen. The Bulldogs may not challenge for the Big East title but moving upward in the hierarchy and a double digit season would appear to be reasonable and attainable goals. Stay tuned.
2024 Newcomers

Coach Paul Snape has announced two transfers and two incoming freshmen.

Josemir Gomez – Forward – Indianapolis, Indiana – North Central High School – A junior transfer from IUPUI where he was a 2023 and 2022 All-Horizon League First Team selection with 16 goals and five assists over two seasons. The 2022 Horizon League Freshman of the Year. Gomez was a United Soccer Coaches All-American and two-time All-State First Team selectin at North Central High School.

Sam Pitts-Eckersall – Midfielder – Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom – Coventry City – A junior transfer from UNC-Ashville where he was a two-time All-Big South Second Team member with three goals and four assists in 2023 and six goals in 2022. Played for Coventry City and Solihull Moors FC in the United Kingdom.

Jose Angel Luna – Winger – Weslaco, Texas – Weslaco High School – Played for RGV Toros in the USL Academy. Played for Capelli USA in Denmark for several seasons. Team captain.

Trent Lindsey – Defender – Gilbert, Arizona – Hamilton High School – Team captain for Barca Residency Academy U17 MLS Next. A center back who is a ball winner. .

Picture from Butler Athletics

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Posted in 2024 Team Reviews

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