- UIC claimed a 2-1 win in overtime over Cleveland State
- The Vikings played with 10 men for the final 31 minutes
- Freshman Omeed Naeemy made 16 saves, the second-most in a Division I match this season
- Sophomore Jannis Schmidt had scored for CSU to equalize the match late on in regulation
- It was the penultimate regular-season match for both sides and the road finale for CSU
- Redshirt freshman Nick McCausland made his first collegiate start Friday
- A Viking has been shown a red card in three of CSU's last four matches at Flames Field
- Cleveland State falls to 24-17-4 all-time against UIC
The Cleveland State University men's soccer team dropped its road finale at league-leading UIC, 2-1 in overtime, Saturday night at a cold Flames Field.
Going on the road to play a well-rested league-leading side was a tough enough prospect for the Vikings, but the challenge became enough harder when CSU was reduced to 10 men due to a red card in the 65th minute.
The Vikings displayed admirable perseverance in finding an equalizer while shorthanded but were done in by the overtime period.
The prospect of playing shorthanded kept true freshman goalkeeper Omeed Naeemy busy against the Flames. Naeemy made 16 saves on the night, the second-highest figure in any Division I match within the past five seasons.
Cleveland State had one of its best looks of the match inside of five minutes as a through ball played on the deck split the center backs and found the feet of senior Gabriel Pewu. Pewu dribbled left and took an effort while slightly falling away from goal, but the keeper was able to make the stop with his feet.
In the 11th minute, UIC won a header on a free kick driven into the box, but Naeemy was in the right position to make the stop. On another free kick about 10 minutes later, and closer to the goal, the Flames hit the post with the free kick attempt.
The Vikings tried to get on the scoreboard first as the half came to a close when the ball was played forward to senior Lawrence Karpeh. He took a low, left-footed effort from near the top of the box that the keeper was able to get enough of to see it slide just past the post.
UIC would take the lead just past the hour mark. A ball was played from near the top of the box on a diagonal across the face of goal, and the Flames were able to knock it over the line from close range near the back post.
Fewer than five minutes later, the challenge intensified for CSU when a Viking was sent off after two players came together to challenge for the ball.
The Vikings rebounded admirably as they were able to press forward with the ball despite their numerical disadvantage.
Naeemy made a big save in the 77th minute as he leaped to send a wicked shot over the bar.
Just over 10 minutes from regulation time, the Vikings played a free kick into the box and drew a foul on the Flames. Sophomore Jannis Schmidt put the subsequent spot kick in to equalize the match.
The final significant chance in regulation time came in the 83rd minute when a UIC free kick was sent into the box. Despite multiple attempts from within 12 yards of the goal mouth, Naeemy and the Viking defense were able to keep the ball out of the net.
The shorthanded Vikings were unable to hold off the high-scoring Flames in overtime. In the 96th minute, a Flames player dribbled laterally near the top of the box before laying off to a teammate moving forward. He had enough space to loft a high shot into the upper corner of the far post to give the hosts the victory.
Cleveland State falls to 24-17-4 all-time against UIC.
Schmidt's goal was his second of the season.
Cleveland State will close the regular season this coming Friday, Nov. 8, as it hosts Detroit Mercy.