CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University men's soccer team was forced to settle for a 1-1 tie with visiting IUPUI in Horizon League action Saturday evening at a chilly Krenzler Field.
CSU scored within the opening quarter hour through junior Gabriel Pewu but could never add an insurance goal. That proved to be critical as the Jaguars' only shot on goal in the entire match found the back of the net with just 25 seconds to play in regulation.
Nevertheless, the Vikings extended their current unbeaten run to four matches with the result. Cleveland State had notable advantages in shots (16-7) and corner kicks (10-5). The Vikings have outshot their opponent in all five League fixtures thus far.
Pewu's goal extended his team lead in goals (5) and points (11).
Head coach Kirk Harwat made a pair of changes to his starting XI from the squad's win at Pittsburgh last time out. Junior Lawrence Karpeh was inserted back into a forward role after missing the previous contest while senior Antonio Burgoa drew an assignment at center back.
After CSU dealt with a Jags corner in the opening 90 seconds, the Vikings proceeded to take four corners over the next 11 minutes but to no avail.
Cleveland State would get on the board first in the 14th minute. Burgoa played a lateral pass to an open Thomas M'Barek not far from the center line. M'Barek played a long ball over the top that Pewu ran on to. After letting the ball bounce twice in the box, Pewu's first touch was a shot he ripped from a tight angle and into the net.
Karpeh had a decent look a few minutes later, dribbling to create space before unleashing a shot from the center of the pitch. However, the goalie was able to push it out for a corner.
IUPUI's best look in the opening half came in the 19th minute off a foul from just outside the box. However, the shot was hit over the bar.
The Jags had a good look in the 55th minute when a long ball was headed on for a teammate. The shot from just outside the box sailed slightly over the bar.
The guests would get a dramatic goal in the dying seconds. A ball was played down the right flank where a cross was hit into the box. Matthew Skaar volleyed the pass by the CSU keeper and into the net to equalize.
Cleveland State nearly ended it seconds later as Pewu sent a cross across the face of goal. Senior Gianluca DiFranco went down in the box, leaving the Viking bench furious, but the referee let play continue.
The Vikings took the final six shots of the two overtime periods but could not break through. CSU's best chance at a winner was likely a 104th minute free kick by Noah Pio that landed on the top of the net.
M'Barek's assist was his first of the season and the second of his career. Pewu has five goals and an assist in the past seven matches.
All six matchups between these sides have been decided by a single goal or ended in a tie.
Cleveland State will hit the road for a pair of matches this coming week, beginning with its non-conference finale Tuesday at Loyola (Md.).