Griffins Top Vikings in Final Minute

Griffins Top Vikings in Final Minute

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Cleveland State University lacrosse team trailed for fewer than five minutes in its contest at Canisius, but the Golden Griffins scored twice in the final two minutes to claim a 12-11 win at a clear but cold Demske Sports Complex Sunday afternoon.

CSU had statistical advantages in shots, saves, ground balls and faceoffs won while both teams had the same number of penalties and failed clears.

Freshman Michael Wilson continued his fast start as a collegian with his best offensive performance to date. He had a season-best four points on two goals and a season-high two assists while also tallying five ground balls. Wilson has points in all seven games thus far and has goals in six of the seven.

Freshman Stephen Russo notched a season-high 14 saves, 10 of which came in the second half, and added three ground balls. It was his second time in three games with at least a dozen saves.

Sophomore Jack Frickleton had a season-high three points on two goals and an assist, his third multi-point outing in the last five games. Freshman Jake Higgins posted the first multi-goal game of his young career.

Sophomore Danny Tesler won the game's opening faceoff and Frickleton, rolling to his left, put the Vikings on top 15 seconds in with the game's first shot.

Canisius scored on two of its next three possessions to take its first lead of the game.

Russo made a save on the Griffins' next possession before a Cleveland State shot was saved. Wilson then made a leaping effort to pick off a pass on a clearing attempt by Canisius. He soon found classmate Jason Sullivan, whose low blast tied the game and was the first of his career.

Tesler won the subsequent faceoff, and the Vikings retook the lead on that possession when sophomore Nate Menendez scored an unassisted tally.

After the Vikings forced a Canisius turnover, Frickleton found the net again with the clock winding down in the first quarter. He received a screen from freshman Casey Platenik and put a bullet into the top right corner.

Tesler won the opening faceoff of the second quarter and found Wilson immediately, who scored to put the Vikings up three.

The hosts won the next two faceoffs and scored twice to pull back within one.

Russo saved a shot on Canisius' next possession. Wilson then threaded the needle with a pass to Sherwin Gersten right in front of the cage, and the sophomore directed the ball into the net.

Each team had three turnovers and two saves over the next seven minutes. The Golden Griffins scored twice in the final 140 seconds to even the score at intermission.

Canisius scored the first goal of the second half on its second possession, but its lead would not last long. Higgins answered on the game's next possession by ringing a shot in off the post.

Higgins would put the Vikings back on top about six minutes later. He collected a rebound when Frickleton's shot hit the iron and blasted it home top shelf. However, the Griffins tied the game on their next possession.

On CSU's second possession of the final quarter, sophomore Noah Gleeson found Wilson behind the net. After faking a pass, he circled the cage and fired into the high right corner. The hosts again responded with a tying goal on the game's next possession.

Russo made three saves on Canisius' next two possessions. Sophomore Jared Stepka then put CSU back on top with just under seven minutes left.

Tesler won the ensuing faceoff, but the Griffins forced a turnover and scored to tie the game.

Tesler won the next faceoff as well. Frickleton drew a double team near the center of the field and found sophomore Nick Wendel, stationed to the goalie's right, who fired home.

Tesler won the ensuing faceoff, but Canisius again was able to gain the ball off a turnover and soon tied the contest.

Canisius then won the all-important faceoff, after having lost the previous four, and scored in the final minute of the game to claim the win.

Cleveland State scored within 15 seconds of a faceoff for the seventh time in eight games.

Wilson now owns five multi-point games and four multi-goal games on the season. Frickleton notched his third multi-point game of 2018 and the 11th of his career, the most by any Viking.

Menendez scored for the third straight game while Wendel scored for the fourth time in five contests.

Tesler won a career-high 15 faceoffs and added an assist and eight ground balls.

After playing its last four games on the road, Cleveland State will return home for its next two contests, beginning with a weekday matchup against Lafayette March 13.