Explosive Third Quarter Lifts Vikings to Win

Explosive Third Quarter Lifts Vikings to Win

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The Cleveland State University lacrosse team used an explosive, nine-goal third quarter to run away from host Wittenberg, 18-10, at a sunny Edwards-Maurer Field Thursday afternoon.

This game was just recently added to CSU's slate after its scheduled contests at nationally ranked Hofstra and Fairfield were cancelled due to the winter weather affecting those schools.

In addition to goals, the Vikings posted season highs in points (26), shots (53), shots on goal (32) and successful clears (23) while tying season highs in assists (8) and faceoffs won (18).

Attack Tristen Copeland led the Viking offense by contributing a season-high five points on a goal and four assists. His fourth multi-point game made him the first Viking this season to have four assists in a game and the second to have five points.

Attack Jack Frickleton and midfielder Noah Gleeson each added four points for CSU, with the former scoring twice and the latter tallying three goals.

Frickleton set a season high in points and notched his second multi-goal game and team-best third multi-assist game.

Gleeson tied his season high in points by netting his first collegiate hat trick, which helped him post his fourth multi-point game of 2017.

Midfielder Danny Tesler was dominant at the center dot, as he won 14-of-18 faceoffs and picked up eight ground balls, both of which tied season highs. Tesler added a goal to extend his team season-best point streak to seven games.

Jake Lewis scored on the game's opening possession with a low shot from the left wing. Wittenberg would respond with a pair of goals before Stephen Masi scored on the doorstep off a feed from Copeland.

Late in the first quarter, Cleveland State killed off a 6-on-4 EMO for the opponent, thanks in part to two Caleb Espinoza saves. It was the second straight game that the Vikings have not been scored on when being down two men.

Masi's strike started a string of alternating goals by the teams that carried into the middle of the second quarter. During the run, Nick Wendel scored unassisted after taking a high screen and Frickleton scored right in front on a behind-the-net feed from Masi, the latter's first assist of the season.

Cleveland State scored the final two goals of the half to take the lead into intermission. Chase Baker scored his first of the season when he scooped up a rebound and slotted it home before Gleeson took a pass behind the net, circled the cage and shot low.

The Vikings came out firing on all cylinders after the intermission, scoring the first two, and five of the first six goals after the break.

After a Frickleton man-up tally, Masi beat his man on the left before cutting back to the center of the field for a goal.

A Tiger goal would not halt the momentum for long, as Bobby Kidd III found the net for the first time as a collegian after getting a feed behind the net from Gleeson.

Gleeson would score the next two himself, from Copeland behind the net and when Frickleton made an extra pass in transition, before Nate Menendez scored with a high shot on a fast break.

A Tiger goal cut the lead to five, but Cleveland State responded with three of the final four goals of the quarter. Wendel scored from the left off a feed from Frickleton, Tesler won a faceoff and streaked down the field with a goal on a low shot and Lewis scored on the doorstep after a nice find from Copeland.

The Vikings wrapped up the game with three goals in the fourth quarter, as a number of reserves saw action in the period.

Copeland grabbed a rebound and slotted it home midway through the quarter. One minute later, Tommy Joyce beat his man to the right and found the twine from a tighter angle. A man-up tally from Wendel from straight on, off a feed from Copeland, closed the game's scoring.

Lewis' team-high fourth multi-goal game allowed him to post his team-leading eighth multi-point game. Masi's second multi-goal game helped give him a season-high three points while Wendel contributed his second hat trick of the season and third multi-point game.

Espinoza made 13 saves between the pipes before giving way near the midpoint of the fourth quarter. Brandon Ruditz picked up four ground balls for CSU while Drake Stephens caused two turnovers.

The victory for the Vikings marked the first road win in program history.

Cleveland State continues its road trip next weekend when it faces No. 2/3 Penn State Saturday, March 25.