- Cleveland State trailed for nearly the entire game but rallied to pull off a thrilling win at Lafayette
- With the win, CSU has won three straight games for the first time ever
- All three of the Viking wins in this stretch have come on the road
- By overcoming a four-goal deficit, the Vikings pulled off their biggest comeback to date
- Sophomore Michael Wilson set new program standards in points (8) and assists (6)
- Junior Danny Tesler set new program standards in faceoffs won (19) and ground balls (14)
- Jack Frickleton, Noah Gleeson and Nick Wendel all had their first multi-goal outing of the season
- Wilson scored the game-tying goal and Frickleton had the game-winner, both with under two minutes left
- Isaac Atencio and Quinn Lemke combined for eight ground balls and six caused turnovers
- Cleveland State has equaled its win total from 2018 after eight games this season
The Cleveland State University lacrosse team utilized multiple outstanding individual performances to claim a thrilling, come-from-behind victory at Lafayette, as the Vikings scored twice in the final two minutes to claim a 10-9 win at Fisher Stadium Tuesday evening.
Coming off a quality win at Marquette just over 72 hours ago, CSU came out of the gates slowly, and it looked as though the Vikings would pay the price. However, Cleveland State never gave up as it rallied from a four-goal deficit, including trailing by three with under six minutes left, to win for the third time running.
Three straight wins is the first such occurrence for the young Viking program while Cleveland State also won for the first time ever when trailing after three quarters.
Sophomore Michael Wilson had a huge day offensively with eight points, including six assists, both of which are the most ever by a Viking. He becomes just the seventh Division I player to have a half dozen helpers in a game this season.
Junior Danny Tesler matched Wilson's excellence in a different area of the game. He won 19-of-23 faceoffs contested while tallying 14 ground balls, with his faceoffs won and GB totals being the highest ever by a Viking. Tesler has won over 70% of his faceoffs in four straight games.
Juniors Jack Frickleton, Noah Gleeson and Nick Wendel each had his first multi-goal game of the season Tuesday. Frickleton has points in five of his last six while Wendel now has a four-game point streak.
Lafayette came out strong, scoring four times without reply in the first 20 minutes of the contest.
Cleveland State would score twice within a minute near the midpoint of the second quarter to jumpstart its offense.
Wilson drew two defenders before feeding Wendel on the left wing, who fired low to the far post for CSU's first strike. The second goal came in transition, after a caused turnover by redshirt sophomore Quinn Lemke, as Wilson found Gleeson cutting toward the cage.
The Leopards scored two possessions later, but the Vikings would get the final goal of the half with about two minutes to play. Wilson found freshman Adam Clark with a diagonal pass over the top of the defense while playing with a man advantage.
Cleveland State scored on its first possession of the second half when Wilson hit sophomore Derek Radke, who had been left unaccounted for after cutting from X to the front of the cage.
After cutting the lead to one, the Vikings appeared to be on the comeback trail. However, just a few minutes later, Lafayette scored three times within a span of two minutes to push its margin back to four.
Wilson found Wendel for a goal, not too dissimilar to their first hookup of the game, late in the third quarter to make it an 8-5 game.
Frickleton would score from classmate Tristen Copeland early in the fourth quarter, but it didn't take long for Lafayette to respond with an unassisted goal. The Leopards would take a 9-6 edge into the closing stages.
CSU's comeback bid took a big hit in the final five minutes when it was whistled for a two-minute penalty. However, playing short did not hurt the Vikings.
Redshirt sophomore Caleb Espinoza came up with a big save before Wilson drew a pair of defenders and found Gleeson on the left wing for just the second man-down goal in CSU history.
After Tesler won the ensuing faceoff, Wilson unleashed a low bullet from 15 yards out on the left wing that tied the game.
Tesler followed with another huge faceoff win. CSU would score the winning goal with some pinpoint passing. Sophomore Matt Manfredi hit Copeland behind goal line extended, and he immediately fed Frickleton cutting to the crease, who slammed it home.
Lafayette had a final possession with a chance to tie and called timeout to set something up. However, the Viking defense smothered the Leopards as Gleeson caused a turnover and sophomore Jake Higgins picked up the ground ball, allowing CSU to run out the clock.
In addition to faceoffs, Cleveland State had advantages in shots, ground balls and clearing percentage while also committing fewer penalties.
Espinoza and sophomore Stephen Russo combined for eight saves. Atencio had five ground balls and three caused turnovers while Lemke had a trio in each category. Higgins had four ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers.
Wilson now has points in all 21 collegiate starts and has at least one assist in every game this season. He has at least three points in the past four games.
Copeland's game-winning assist gave him his first multi-assist outing of 2019 and his 12th career multi-point game.
Cleveland State has equaled its win total from 2018 after eight games this season.
Cleveland State will conclude a six-game road trip this coming Sunday as it takes on nationally ranked North Carolina.