OFF AND RUNNING
The Cleveland State University lacrosse team hosts the third of a four-game homestand in a game featuring two of the newer DI lacrosse squads. CSU will also host Community Day Saturday.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
St. Bonaventure is in the midst of its maiden season of lacrosse. The Bonnies also competed this past Tuesday and dropped a tight, 7-5, contest to Monmouth. Long-time Canisius head coach Randy Mearns is guiding the new Bonnie program. St. Bonaventure is among the top 10 in DI in man-down defense. Sean Westley tops the team with 23 points and is tied for the team lead with 11 goals. Brett Dobson owns a .556 save % in seven games of action.
NOT UNLUCKY 13
Trailing 2-0 early in the game last time out against Canisius, Cleveland State proceeded to score 13 consecutive goals to close the half. CSU scored on 13 of 21 possessions in a 22:26 span to break the game wide open. Nine different Vikings scored during the run with both Nick Polydoras and Nick Wendel producing hat tricks in that span. Twelve Vikings had points during the run.
HAMILTON TAKES CENTER STAGE
Freshman Andrew Hamilton put forth a second straight strong outing last time out, winning 15 of 25 faceoffs while tallying a season high six ground balls. He had won 13 of 22 faceoffs against Penn State preseason All-American Gerard Arceri March 23. In doing so, he joined TD Ierlan as the only two players to win more than 50% of their faceoffs against Arceri this season.
FIRST TO SEVENTY
Michael Wilson has 29 points in the past seven games, including a school record eight March 12 at Lafayette. He posted a CSU record six assists against the Leopards while reaching a half dozen points for the fourth time in the past calendar year. Wilson had four points last time out to become the first Viking to surpass 70 career points.
(NOT) CLEAR SAILING
Through 11 games this season, CSU has often forced its opponents into failed clears. The Vikings' foes are just 184-for-253 on clears this season with the 72.7% mark sitting well below the DI median of 82.9%. No Viking opponent has cleared above 82.9% since the season opener as CSU's foes have cleared at just 71.4% over the past 10 games.
For the second straight year, Cleveland State ran a learn-to-play lacrosse academy at the Urban Community School during the fall, providing the school that caters to low-income children with a once-a-week 'class' in lacrosse. CSU players and coaches went to the school weekly from September into December to teach the basics of the game and interact with the kids while serving as role models for the younger generation. CSU's programming supports the mission and objectives of the Lacrosse Communities Project-Cleveland. US Lacrosse had chosen Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood as the second pilot site nationally for the governing body's national development model.
LAST WE MET
This will be the first meeting between these programs as 2019 is St. Bonaventure's first season of competition.
With its win last time out over Canisius, Cleveland State secured its fifth win of 2019, surpassing its win total from the 2018 season with four games remaining.
LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD
Cleveland State tied its program records for goals (19) and assists (13) last time out in the win over Canisius. The 32 total points were the most ever produced by a Viking squad. CSU's four man-up goals also tied its highest such figure in a game.
CAN YOU ASSIST ME?
In its Feb. 16 win over Bellarmine, 13 of the 17 Cleveland State goals were assisted. The 13 assists represented a new standard for the program that was matched last time out as the Vikings had 13 assists in their win over Canisius. In its first two games, CSU assisted 35.3% of its goals. In the last eight games, the Vikings have assisted 70.3% of their goals.
MORE GB's = MORE W'S
Cleveland State had a 31-23 advantage in ground balls over Canisius last time out in winning its fifth game of the season. In doing so, the Vikings improved to 5-1 this season when having more ground balls than their opponent. CSU has won eight of its last nine games when it has more GB's than its opponent.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT
Noah Gleeson picked a good time to produce his first multi-goal game in nearly two years. Entering the Lafayette game with three shots in 2019, he found the net twice, including posting a man-down tally to help the comeback. That effort started a four-game point streak for the junior, the longest of his career to date.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH WENDEL
Junior Nick Wendel was one of CSU's most consistent offensive performers over the first two seasons. He has points in 27 of his last 31 games entering this week and has scored in 15 of his last 21 outings. Wendel is riding a seven-game point streak after back-to-back hat tricks, including a career-high five goals last time out.
After not having a goal in the first six games, freshman Nick Polydoras has scored in four of the past five. He had his biggest game yet last time out, producing four goals and an assist in the win over Canisius. He had four points in the opening 23 minutes, helping turn a 4-2 lead into a 9-2 advantage. He had previously notched a hat trick vs. UNC and scored two second-half goals at Marquette in a game CSU won by two.