Vikings Run Past SHU in Impressive Fashion

Vikings Run Past SHU in Impressive Fashion

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State University lacrosse team received contributions up and down the lineup as they posted a 15-9 win over Sacred Heart in impressive fashion Saturday afternoon inside Krenzler Dome.

CSU, playing at home for the final time in 2018, did not trail over the final three quarters of the contest. With the score tied, 3-3, at the end of one, the Vikings scored 10 of the next 13 goals in the game, opening up a seven-goal lead early in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland State had advantages in a variety of statistical categories, including shots on goal, ground balls, faceoffs and saves. CSU notched a .375 shooting percentage on the day, its highest figure against a Division I foe, while nine different Vikings scored a goal, tied for the best mark against a DI team.

Freshman Michael Wilson contributed a game high six points on two goals and a season high four assists. He now has points in each of his first 13 collegiate games, scoring in 11 of them. With his effort Saturday, Wilson became the first Viking to surpass 30 points and the first to have 20 goals in a season.

Freshman Tristen Hanna was frequently the beneficiary of Wilson's helpers as he scored a season high four goals, three of which came from Wilson. It was Hanna's third multi-goal game in the last seven games.

Sophomore captain Danny Tesler won 16-of-27 faceoffs on the day and added a half dozen ground balls. His 16 faceoff wins tied his career high that was set last weekend at nationally ranked Robert Morris. Tesler has been a major reason why the Vikings win over 70% of their faceoffs in the last three games.

Sacred Heart's Max Tuttle, on the national player of the year watch list released earlier this week, entered the weekend second nationally in goals per game. However, the Cleveland State defense, led by sophomore Skylar Jimenez, limited him to a single goal Saturday. It was only the third time this season he did not have multiple goals in a game.

After a couple of empty possessions by both teams, the Pioneers struck first about five minutes in with a man-up goal on their second EMO chance in 90-second span.

The Vikings answered just over a minute later, scoring twice with a 90-second span. Sophomore Sherwin Gersten made a heads up pass to classmate Tristen Copeland on the doorstep to tie the game before Wilson made a diagonal pass across the crease to sophomore Jack Frickleton for a man-up tally.

Sacred Heart tied the game with an unassisted tally and were then given a chance to take the lead with a one-minute EMO chance. However, the Vikings caused a turnover and then sophomore Nate Menendez fired up the bench with a man-down tally, the first in program history.

SHU scored in the final minute of the opening quarter to tie the game for the final time.

Three CSU goals in the opening six minutes of the second quarter gave the Vikings some breathing room for the first time. Manfredi gave CSU the lead before Hanna scored back-to-back goals, both from Wilson.

SHU scored an unassisted strike, but Hanna responded with his third of the quarter to set the halftime score.

Each team scored twice in the third quarter with Frickleton and Hanna finding the net for CSU.

Cleveland State effectively put the game away early by scoring four goals in the opening five minutes of the final quarter. Sophomore Jared Stepka collected a ground ball off a faceoff scramble and fired home before Wilson and classmate Jason Sullivan found the net. With the shot clock on, sophomore Nick Wendel scored to put the Vikings up seven.

Sacred Heart would cut its deficit to four with about six minutes left but could get no closer. Wendel and Wilson closed the scoring with two goals in a 22-second span.

Freshman Stephen Russo made 12 saves in the cage, his seventh time reaching double figures in the past nine games.

Wilson, who became the first Viking to have six points in a game more than once, now has six multi-goal games in the last 10. He now has seven multi-goal games, five multi-assist games and 10 multi-point games with one game left in his rookie campaign.

Copeland, who finished with three points, now has four multi-point games this season and 10 in his career.

Frickleton and Wendel both scored twice. The former now has four multi-goal games this season, and eight in his career, while the latter has two this season and six in his career.

Freshman Matt Manfredi notched his first multi-point game with a goal and an assist. Stepka added five ground balls in addition to his goal. Freshman Michael Harris had three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Senior Parese Williams, a junior college transfer, was honored before the game in a brief pre-game ceremony. He started on defense for the first time as a Viking and finished the game with three ground balls and a caused turnover.

The Vikings had fewer penalty minutes than their opponent for the 18th time in its 27 games.

Cleveland State will close its second season next Saturday, April 28, at Detroit Mercy.