CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University lacrosse team outscored visiting Mercer, 5-1, in the second half to force overtime, but the Bears found the golden goal in the extra session to claim a 10-9 victory Tuesday evening inside Krenzler Dome.
CSU, which trailed by four at the half and was still down three early in the fourth quarter, used a dominant fourth quarter, capped by a tying goal with just 12 seconds left, to force overtime.
The Vikings had edges in nearly every statistical category, including a 48-34 edge in shots. Cleveland State also led in shots on goal, ground balls, faceoffs and caused turnovers. CSU had fewer turnovers and committed fewer penalties than Mercer.
Cleveland State was also not helped by the fact that it had seven shots clang off either the post or crossbar.
Freshman Derek Radke posted four assists, including one on the tying goal with just seconds left, and added three ground balls. Radke's first career multi-point game made him the first Viking to post 4+ assists against a Division I opponent.
Mercer scored the first goal on the fourth possession of the game after the Vikings had shots saved on their first two possessions. The Bears would double their lead after blocking a CSU shot to regain possession.
The Vikings would cut the lead in half with their first of a program-record four man-up goals. Sophomore Sherwin Gersten received a feed from Wilson on the doorstep and slammed it home for his first of the season.
Mercer went back up two goals after a failed clear by the Vikings, but Cleveland State responded immediately by tying the game with two goals within 30 seconds.
Wilson scored nine seconds after a faceoff before Copeland picked up a ground ball just outside the crease and found the net.
The Bears used a man-up tally in the final minute of the first quarter to retake the lead before scoring on their first two possessions of the second quarter to open up a three-goal cushion.
Frickleton scored his first goal of the season on a man-up chance near the midpoint of the second quarter, but the Bears came back to score on their next two possessions, the second of which came with the shot clock in action.
Cleveland State took five shots over the final 90 seconds of the half but could not dent its deficit.
The Vikings turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, holding Mercer to just one goal on its 16 possessions in the following 30 minutes. Cleveland State forced nine turnovers by the Bears in the fourth quarter, six of which were directly caused by the Vikings.
Sophomore Gideon Brockenbrough scored the lone goal of the third quarter, a high shot while cutting to the middle of the field.
Frickleton and classmate Nick Wendel both scored with a man advantage via assists from Radke in the opening five minutes of the fourth quarter.
Mercer scored its lone goal of the second half with about seven minutes left in regulation after gathering a ground ball after blocking a CSU shot.
Sophomore Danny Tesler scored his first goal of the season about a minute later to cut Mercer's lead back to a single goal.
Radke had a shot hit the post with about four minutes left before a shot by Wendel was saved and then cleared by Mercer. That allowed the Bears to run off nearly two minutes of time before losing the ball on a shot clock violation.
Cleveland State had turnovers on its next two possessions, making it seem as though its chance at a tying goal was gone.
However, sophomore Zach Whitenack forced a turnover near midfield with under 20 seconds remaining. Radke picked up the ground ball and found Copeland near the front of the cage for a tying strike.
Cleveland State won the all-important faceoff in overtime but turned the ball over before it was truly able to set up its offense. Mercer scored on its only possession of overtime to claim the win.
Cleveland State's 48 shots are its most against a Division I opponent.
Wilson, who posted the first assist of his career Tuesday, has scored in each of the first three games. Wendel now has points in 10 of his last 11 games while Brockenbrough has scored in five of his past six.
Tesler won more than half of his faceoffs for the second straight game while adding five ground balls and a caused turnover. Freshman long-stick midfielder Michael Harris had six ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers Tuesday.
Copeland and Frickleton both notched their first multi-goal game of the season Tuesday, the seventh and ninth multi-point games of their career, respectively.
Cleveland State will begin a stretch of four straight games away from home this Saturday, Feb. 17, at Bellarmine.