Vikings Score in Final Minute to Earn Road Point

Vikings Score in Final Minute to Earn Road Point

DETROIT, Mich. - Sophomore Zack Kluever scored with just 33 seconds left in regulation to help the Cleveland State University men's soccer team earn a 1-1 draw at Detroit Mercy in each team's season finale Friday afternoon at a cloudy Titan Field.

Head coach Kirk Harwat had made seven changes to his starting lineup from last time out with redshirt freshman Brandon George and freshman Stjepan Mijic-Barisic each making his first collegiate start. Six of the Vikings that started were doing so for the first or second time this season.

With a youthful lineup in place, Detroit outshot CSU, 8-2, in the opening 45 minutes, but the Vikings refused to yield a goal.

After Cleveland State made five changes at the interval, the Vikings turned the tables on the hosts, outshooting the Titans, 8-2, in the frame.

CSU had a nice look at goal in the 78th minute when senior Noah Pio lobbed a ball over the back line from left to right into the run of junior Gabriel Pewu. Pewu's tight-angle shot was saved, but the rebound squirted out right in front of goal, and the ball was just behind the run of freshman Jannis Schmidt.

However, it was Detroit who grabbed the opening goal of the match in the 82nd minute when a misplay by the CSU back line resulted in an own goal.

It was looking increasingly likely that the unfortunate misplay would gift the Titans a win, but the Vikings kept fighting into the final minute.

After CSU earned a corner, partially due to the work of Kluever, Pio played the ball toward the near post. Detroit headed it out toward the top of the box, but redshirt freshman Austin Mitchell, who had come up from his goalkeeping position, kept the ball alive and took a shot that was blocked. Junior Hayden Parente then lined up a shot that was blocked near the goal line. Parente followed his effort and cut a pass parallel to the goal line that Kluever headed home.

Detroit had a couple of decent looks at goal in the first overtime but was unable to convert. Neither team managed a shot in the second overtime session, so the teams shared the points to close the campaign.

Each team took three shots on goal while CSU had a 9-6 advantage in corner kicks. There were a total of 39 fouls in the contest, 22 of which were on the Titans.

Kluever's goal was his third of the season while Parente's assist was his first as a Viking. Mitchell made two saves to earn his first collegiate result.

Sophomore captain Thomas M'Barek, who was named Academic All-Horizon League earlier in the day, was the only Viking to start all 15 matches this season. He was joined by Pio, Pewu and Schmidt as Vikings that played in every match on the campaign.

Pewu led the squad with six goals in 2018 while Pio had a team-leading six assists.