CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University lacrosse team got out to a fast start, but Canisius weathered the early trouble and posted a 17-7 victory Saturday afternoon inside Krenzler Dome.
The Vikings scored the game's opening three goals in six minutes of action, forcing a Canisius timeout. The Golden Griffins responded and worked their way back into the game to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Attackman Jake Lewis had one of the finest individual efforts thus far for Cleveland State. He posted a team season-high five points on two goals and a team season-best three assists. Lewis, who contributed his team-leading sixth multi-point game, also had a team-best five ground balls.
Midfielder Nick Wendel was the other main offensive weapon for the Vikings Saturday. He tallied a season-high four points as he posted his first collegiate hat trick and added an assist.
Midfielder Drake Stephens went 8-for-12 on faceoffs and picked up four ground balls, with the eight faceoff wins representing a season high.
Canisius got on the scoreboard with 5:37 to go in the opening quarter when a rebound was scooped in after Caleb Espinoza made a save on the initial shot. The Golden Griffins won the remaining two faceoffs of the quarter to help them maintain the majority of possession for the rest of the period, as the guests trailed, 3-2, after 15 minutes.
Canisius took advantage of two failed clears by the hosts, scoring after both, to take the lead early in the second quarter. The Golden Griffins added four more tallies before the Vikings were able to respond with a Wendel goal to set the halftime margin.
Canisius put the game out of reach with four third-period goals while keeping the Cleveland State offense at bay. The Viking scored four of the first six goals in the fourth quarter, but the deficit they were facing proved too much to overcome.
The Golden Griffins had the slightest of edges in ground balls, 37-36, while both teams were 2-of-4 in extra-man situations. The Vikings have now scored on seven of their last 13 EMO chances.
Espinoza had a game-high 13 saves, reaching double digits for the third straight game and fifth time overall this season.
Cleveland State will now embark on a five-game road trip, facing three nationally ranked teams in that stretch. The Vikings begin the trip by facing the only other Division I program in the state, as they head to Ohio State Saturday, March 11.