CLEVELAND, Ohio – Junior Gabriel Pewu scored a pair of goals fewer than two minutes apart to lift the Cleveland State University men's soccer team to a 2-0 win over visiting Bowling Green Tuesday evening at a mostly sunny and warm Krenzler Field.
With CSU controlling the match, Pewu made the hosts' work pay dividends with his second-career brace. With his goal at Milwaukee this past weekend, the forward now has goals in back-to-back matches for the first time in his career.
Senior Noah Pio had the primary assist on both goals for his second career multi-assist outing. He now has factored into a goal in each of the past three matches.
Cleveland State held a 20-12 lead in shots, a margin that was greater until BG began pushing forward in the final stages. It marked just the second time this season that the Falcons were outshot with the other occurrence coming against nationally ranked Michigan State.
Head coach Kirk Harwat made a pair of changes to the starting XI from last time out, inserting sophomore Stephen Milhoan into the midfield for his first collegiate start while freshman Nicklas Rulle was back between the posts.
The first half did not feature too many great scoring looks for either side, especially over the opening 20 minutes.
In the 23rd minute, Milhoan played a nice through ball to Pewu. The junior battled a defender while moving toward goal but eventually had his shot blocked out for a corner.
Fewer than two minutes later, CSU nearly gifted the Falcons a goal with a misplay by the back line. However, Bowling Green saw its shot just off target with Rulle out of position.
BG did well in the first half in limiting CSU's chances on goal as it blocked five of the eight shot attempts in the opening 45 minutes.
Cleveland State began applying more pressure in the second half, and it eventually paid off.
In the 52nd minute, sophomore Zack Kluever had a shot from just inside the box partially blocked. Junior Lawrence Karpeh was able to get his head on the redirection from close range but just wasn't able to direct the ball down on frame.
About 10 minutes later, sophomore Colin Kane played a corner kick to the far post. Kluever headed back across goal where Pewu met it but sent it just wide.
Bowling Green had a nice look on a counter in the 66th minute, but the shot from the top of the box was high.
In the 71st minute, the Vikings got the goal that had been coming. Kane played a quick throw-in to Pio on the left flank. The senior turned and served the ball into the box. With the goalkeeper charging out, Pewu's run beat him to the ball, and he headed it home into the empty net.
Fewer than two minutes later, a similar sequence occurred for the hosts to double their lead. Pio played a free kick from the left wing into the area, and Pewu rose above everyone to head the ball inside the far post.
The Vikings held an 18-6 advantage in shots after their second goal, but that edge dwindled as CSU backed off to defend its lead.
Bowling Green had some of its best looks at goal in the final 10-15 minutes, but the Vikings held on to the clean sheet.
Pio, who has assists in back-to-back matches, now has points in 10 of his last 18 overall.
Kane notched his first collegiate point with his assist on the first goal while Rulle earned his first collegiate win with his first shutout.
Cleveland State outshot its opponent for the fourth straight match and the fifth time in six contests. Its 20 shots were a season high by a BG opponent while the Vikings yielded just one shot on target.
The Vikings also took six corner kicks without allowing a single one against a Falcon team that had been averaging over six per match.
CSU's win evened the all-time series at 17-17-1.
With its non-conference home finale complete, Cleveland State will resume Horizon League action this Saturday, Sept. 22, at Wright State.