MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Junior Gabriel Pewu scored a game-tying goal with under 15 minutes in regulation to help the Cleveland State University men's soccer team earn a 1-1 tie at Milwaukee on a warm, clear Saturday evening at Engelmann Stadium.
While the Vikings earned a point on the road against a top-three side from last season, CSU may have felt it deserved more as it outshot the hosts, 21-10, for the match. It was the fourth time in five matches that Cleveland State outshot its opponent, including both of its Horizon League fixtures.
The match was frequently interrupted by whistles as the host Panthers were called for 32 fouls.
Head coach Kirk Harwat made three changes from the starting XI from the League opener last weekend. Sophomore Colin Kane made his season debut by starting at left back while junior Thomas Bielanski and sophomore Dan Manolache both began the match after coming off the bench last time out.
Cleveland State was a little slow out of the starting gates after making the long trip west as it had to weather a trio of corner kicks and two shots, both off target, by the Panthers in the opening seven minutes. Sophomore Ben Hryszko made a key header to clear a cross out of danger in the sixth minute.
However, the Vikings soon found their footing as they held the hosts without a shot for the remainder of the half while taking 11 themselves.
Senior Noah Pio played a lateral pass into the box in the 18th minute for freshman Jannis Schmidt, but his first-time shot went over the bar. Pio nearly scored himself in the 28th minute, but his shot rang off the bar and stayed out.
While CSU dominated the opening half, it would fall behind not long after the intermission on a set piece. A Milwaukee free kick from a wide left position was played into the box where a low header was sent into the left side of the goal.
Schmidt had a good look to level the proceedings about 10 minutes later on a cross from the right wing, but his shot was too close to the goalkeeper.
The Vikings would get the equalizer in the 76th minute. Bielanski played a short pass between two defenders to Jandric. Jandric immediately played a long ball from the right wing to the far post. Pio headed it off the crossbar, and the ball popped up into the air. Pewu stayed with the play and headed it under the bar for his first tally of the season.
The game-tying goal proved to be the final shot of regulation.
Pewu and classmate Lawrence Karpeh each took two shots in the first overtime without reply from Milwaukee, but the teams played onward.
Redshirt freshman Alex Gyerman made a pair of saves in the second extra session. In the final minute, a CSU defender misplayed a ball in the final third. Sophomore Thomas M'Barek sprinted back to block a dangerous shot attempt out of play to ensure that the Vikings brought a point home.
Cleveland State had a 10-4 advantage in shots on goal.
Pio now has points in nine of his last 17 games. He has scored or assisted on CSU's last nine goals in League matches.
Saturday was the earliest these two teams have met in the calendar year since 1979.
CSU will return home Tuesday, Sept. 18, for a non-conference derby against in-state foe Bowling Green.