- Cleveland State got ahead early and never looked back in claiming a 17-8 win at Utah
- The Vikings led for the final 53 minutes and led by at least five goals for the final 26 minutes
- Sophomore Michael Wilson had a game-high seven points on three goals and four assists
- Sophomore Stephen Russo made a season-high 12 saves on 20 shots on goal
- Junior Zach Whitenack had three points, three caused turnovers and three ground balls
- Junior Tristen Copeland had four points, including his first hat trick of the season
- CSU won 19 of 28 faceoffs as Danny Tesler led the way by winning 13-of-18
- Tristan Hanna, Nick Polydoras and Gabe Reno each added a pair of goals
- The win was the seventh of the season for CSU, increasing its highest tally in a season thus far
The Cleveland State University lacrosse team got ahead early and never looked back as the Vikings ran to a 17-8 win at Utah in their road finale Saturday afternoon at McCarthey Stadium.
CSU, which led for the final 53 minutes, had built a 6-2 lead after the opening quarter and led by at least five goals for the final 26 minutes. The Vikings had three separate 4-0 runs in the game, achieving the feat in the first, third and fourth quarters.
Sophomore Michael Wilson had a game-high seven points, one off the school record he set at Lafayette, on the strength of three goals and four assists. He has at least three points in eight of his last nine games and at least five points four times in that stretch.
Junior Tristen Copeland joined Wilson in netting a hat trick Saturday, his first of the season. He added an assist and extended his point streak to five games, tying his career long.
Sophomore Stephen Russo made a season-high 12 saves on the 20 shots on goal he faced to help lead the Vikings on the defensive end.
Junior long-stick midfielder Zach Whitenack was a force on both ends of the field against the Utes. He had a career-high three points, tallying a pair of goals for the second time this season. He also had three caused turnovers and a season-high three ground balls.
Cleveland State used its dominance of the faceoff to help it get out to an early lead Saturday. The Vikings won eight of nine faceoffs in the opening quarter to build a four-goal lead after one period.
Utah actually scored the game's first goal in the opening minute. However, the Vikings would keep the hosts quiet for nearly 10 minutes to take control.
Wilson fed Copeland for the Vikings' first goal and then assisted sophomore Tristan Hanna to give the Vikings the lead. Freshman Gabe Reno notched CSU's third tally before Copeland returned the favor and found Wilson to close a four-goal run.
Utah would get one back with about four minutes left in the opening period, but freshman Nick Polydoras scored from straight on and junior Jack Frickleton added a tally in the final 90 seconds while rolling left off a ball screen.
The second quarter saw limited scoring as Utah scored twice sandwiched around an unassisted tally by Wilson. CSU would take a 7-4 lead into intermission.
Cleveland State effectively put the game away in the third quarter, scoring four times in opening 11 minutes without reply.
Reno opened the second-half scoring before Whitenack got involved on the offensive end. He found Wilson on the right wing for a strike in a scramble after a faceoff win before scoring with a long-range strike from the defensive half with Utah attempting a 10-man ride. Copeland then closed the four-goal run with an unassisted tally.
Utah scored twice in the opening two minutes of the fourth quarter, but the Vikings responded on the strength of Polydoras. He fed Whitenack in the center of the field for a goal before scoring himself off a pass from junior Jared Stepka.
Junior Danny Tesler was the leader in winning possession for CSU, claiming 13-of-18 faceoffs and adding six ground balls. Freshman Andrew Hamilton won 6-of-8 at the 'X' and contributed four ground balls and an assist.
Cleveland State had advantages in nearly every statistical category, including shots, shots on goal, saves, faceoffs won, ground balls and man-up goals.
Wilson, who surpassed 80 career points Saturday, notched his 11th multi-point outing of the season and the 21st of his career, the most among active Vikings. Copeland's hat trick was his first since his rookie season and was his third multi-goal game of 2019.
Hanna posted his eighth multi-goal outing of the season while Polydoras netted the fourth such showing of his rookie campaign.
Cleveland State improved to 7-7 with the win, increasing its tally for most wins in a season.
The Vikings will play their season finale this Wednesday, April 24, when they host Detroit Mercy.