CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University men's soccer team was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with visiting Duquesne in each team's first exhibition of the season Tuesday evening at a warm Krenzler Field.
With the matchup being an exhibition, it ended after 90 minutes of action despite the tied scoreline.
Sophomore Gabriel Pewu scored for the home side via junior Gianluca DiFranco's assist late in the first half, punctuating a solid opening 45 minutes from the home side that saw the Vikings outshoot the Dukes, 7-1.
After dealing with two corner kicks in the opening 10 minutes without much issue, Cleveland State had the more dangerous chances for the remainder of the half.
Junior Antonio Burgoa fired the first shot on goal of the match in the 22nd minute, but the Dukes' keeper was able to make the stop.
DiFranco nearly got on the scoresheet a few times, starting when he was played through on goal and tried to lay a pass off to an onrushing Lawrence Karpeh, but the combination just missed. DiFranco then tried to chip the goalkeeper in the 39th minute immediately after CSU forced a turnover by the Duquesne backline, but the netminder was able to scramble to keep it out.
The Vikings' strong first half play was rewarded with just over 30 seconds until intermission. Senior captain Alec Nagucki strode forward to intercept a Dukes' pass. After the ball fell to DiFranco, his initial shot was blocked by a Duquesne defender. However, he gathered his own rebound, dribbled right and cut a pass back centrally in front of the goal. Pewu, who entered as a substitute in the 38th minute, calmly accepted the pass, turned and slotted a shot to the far left post to beat the goalie.
Duquesne had one of its better chances thus far in the 53rd minute when a shot from near the corner of the 18-yard box sailed slightly high.
The Dukes tied the match in the 74th minute when a free kick was played from the right flank. It appeared that CSU had gained possession of the initial ball, but a misplay gifted the guests a tying strike as Vito Vincent simply had to tap in to tie the score.
Neither team was able to find a winning goal. CSU's best chances late came on an 80th minute left-footed strike by freshman Colin Kane, as his shot sailed slightly high of the corner of net, and an 83rd minute free kick by redshirt junior Brent Nanchoff, as no Viking was able to get on the end of his dangerous ball into the box.
Nineteen Vikings saw action in the match, with six true freshman and a redshirt freshman seeing time on the pitch.
CSU outshot Duquesne, 8-6, for the match while the teams combined for just three corner kicks overall.
Cleveland State will continue exhibition action this Saturday, Aug. 19, by hosting Saint Francis (Pa.) at 4:00 p.m.