Furious Rally Comes Up Just Short Against Michigan

Furious Rally Comes Up Just Short Against Michigan

Boxscore (PDF)


  • Cleveland State furiously rallied from a 7-0 deficit and trailed by just one in the closing stages of the fourth quarter
  • Sophomore Michael Wilson had a team-high three points on two goals and an assist
  • Sophomore Jason Sullivan notched his first multi-goal game as a collegian
  • Junior Brandon Ruditz had nine ground balls, the most ever by a CSU player that did not take faceoffs
  • It was the second straight game in which CSU held its opponent without a man-up goal
  • Junior Danny Tesler won 12-of-20 faceoffs, winning over 50% against a second straight Big Ten foe
  • Junior Tristen Copeland scored for the fourth straight game, dating back to the 2018 season 


The Cleveland State University lacrosse team was down, but not out, as the Vikings' furious rally came up just short to Michigan Saturday inside Krenzler Dome. 

Twenty five minutes into the contest, CSU was facing a 7-0 deficit. However, the Vikings reeled off six straight goals to make a game of it. Cleveland State had three possessions late in the fourth quarter where it trailed by a single goal, but the Vikings were not able to find the equalizer. 

The Vikings had advantages over the Wolverines in faceoffs (12-8), ground balls (30-25) and saves (13-9). Cleveland State also had a higher clearing percentage and fewer shot clock violations. It was the second straight game against a Big Ten opponent to open the season for the Vikings. 

Sophomore Michael Wilson led the Viking offense with a trio of points on two goals and an assist. Classmate Jason Sullivan found the net twice for the first time as a collegian. 

Junior Brandon Ruditz had a monster game on the deck as he secured nine ground balls while adding a caused turnover. Classmate Zach Whitenack had a goal, a trio of caused turnovers and two ground balls. 

Junior Danny Tesler went 12-for-20 on faceoffs while adding five ground balls. 

Michigan scored on the game's first possession, but then neither team scored for the next 12 minutes. The Wolverines added two goals in the final three minutes of the quarter, with the latter goal coming immediately following a successful clear. 

The Wolverines again scored on their first possession of the quarter and would add three more tallies in the ensuing eight minutes. 

Cleveland State then slowly started to pull its way back into the game. An unassisted goal by junior Tristen Copeland began to turn the tide. 

Sophomores Derek Radke and Jason Sullivan added unassisted tallies of their own within the final two minutes of the half. 

The Vikings carried that momentum over into the third quarter. Goals by Wilson, Sullivan, assisted by classmate Tristan Hanna, and Whitenack, assisted by Wilson, pulled CSU within one. Whitenack's goal showcased his versatility as he forced a turnover on the defensive end before rifling home in transition. 

Michigan would score two goals in the second half of the third quarter with an unassisted tally by sophomore Matt Manfredi sandwiched in between.

Wilson's second of the day right near the midpoint of the fourth quarter again made it a one-goal affair.

Cleveland State took shots on each of its next three possessions that would have tied the game, but none found the twine. The Wolverines added an insurance tally late on in the contest to set the final margin.

Ruditz's nine ground balls are tied for the third-highest figure by a Viking in a contest and the most by a player who did not take a faceoff in the game.

Cleveland State's two goaltenders combined for 13 saves with each Viking saving over half of the shots he faced. Redshirt sophomore Caleb Espinoza had eight saves while sophomore Stephen Russo tallied five.

Wilson now has eight multi-goal games and 12 multi-point games in his 15 career starts.

CSU's opponents are now 0-for-9 on man-up chances this season.

Cleveland State will remain at home next weekend as it hosts Bellarmine for the first time in program history Saturday, Feb. 16.