OFF AND RUNNING
The Cleveland State University lacrosse team begins a stretch of four straight games away from home this weekend after dropping the first overtime contest in program history this past week. It will be the second straight game against a new opponent for CSU.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Despite having an advantage in shots on goal, Bellarmine fell at Michigan, 9-7, last time out. The Knights had dropped their opener at home to Robert Morris last weekend. Defenseman Kevin Fahey was named preseason All-Southern Conference. Landon Trout and Morgan Macko have combined for 13 of the Knights' 23 points thus far. Jordan Dondoyano and Ian Reilly have split time in the cage. The Knights have only 30 seconds of penalty time on the year.
QUICK STRIKE VIKES
Cleveland State's second goal vs. Mercer came just nine seconds after a faceoff. It marked the fourth straight game in which CSU has scored within 15 seconds of a faceoff and the fifth straight in which it has scored within 25 seconds of a faceoff. Cleveland State has scored at least one goal within one minute of a faceoff in each of its 17 games thus far (12 times CSU has scored within 30 seconds).
Freshman Michael Wilson has made an impression in CSU's opening games. He scored two unassisted goals on two shots in his debut against Ohio State. Wilson scored again last weekend at Michigan while adding a ground ball and a caused turnover. He added an unassisted tally, his first assist and six ground balls last time out vs. Mercer. Wilson is not the first athlete in his family as his mother played softball for Army.
COMEBACK COMES UP SHORT
Last time out at Mercer, Cleveland State trailed by four goals late in the third quarter. The Vikings outscored the Bears, 5-1, over the final 17:00, tying the game with just 12 seconds left after forcing a turnover. Mercer scored on the first shot of overtime to end CSU's chances of its largest ever comeback win.
Freshman Derek Radke had a breakout performance last time out, posting four assists, including one on the game-tying goal with 12 seconds left. Radke's first career multi-point game made him the first Viking to post 4+ assists against a Division I opponent.
Cleveland State hung right with nationally ranked Ohio State in the opening half of its season opener before the Buckeyes gained some breathing room in the second half. At the half, OSU led just, 5-4. The Buckeyes had only a 15-14 advantage in shots, each team had five saves and CSU had made three fewer turnovers.
TOUGH TESTS FOR DEFENSE
Cleveland State's schedule might keep defensive coordinator Andy German up at night. After facing four of the 10 highest scoring offenses last year, CSU is scheduled to face seven teams in 2018 that were among the top 25 in scoring offense in 2017. According to Patrick McEwen's per-possession figures on Analytics Lacrosse, the Vikings faced the fifth-toughest set of offensive opponents in the 2017 season.
#1 x 2
When Cleveland State faced off at Penn State last season, it marked the second time in a one-month span that the Vikings played the top-ranked team in the USILA poll. The 16 most recent programs making their NCAA lacrosse debut in Division I combined to play the No. 1 ranked team just a single time in their inaugural seasons.
THE MAN ON MAN UP
Man-up opportunities are often a great chance to score, but Jack Frickleton has been especially dangerous for CSU's man-up unit. He had five man-up tallies last season, tied for fourth among DI freshmen. He also had four assists during EMO chances in 2017. Frickleton scored two man-up tallies last time out vs. Mercer.
NO HELP NEEDED
Midfielder Gideon Brockenbrough has scored in five of the past six games he's played. All of his goals in that stretch have been unassisted.
FROM HERE AND EVERYWHERE
On six occasions last season, the 10 players in CSU's starting lineup went to high school in eight different states. The Vikings started players from eight states again in their 2018 opener and then started players from nine states in each of their past two games.
Prior to the season, Cleveland State unveiled via social media the three new uniform designs it will be sporting this season. CSU has new white, black and green uniforms this season, with the green representing a new primary uniform color for the Vikings. Cleveland State may also continue to wear its gray uniforms from its debut season. UN1TUS, a company based in Cleveland, is CSU's uniform manufacturer. The uniforms were designed by head coach Dylan Sheridan in conjunction with UN1TUS.