- Cleveland State used a stout defensive effort to claim a 7-5 win at Marquette
- It is the first time the Vikings have won back-to-back games against Division I opponents
- Each of the last two Viking wins have come on the road
- The win was the first-ever for Cleveland State against a Big East opponent
- The five goals allowed are the fewest ever by Cleveland State against a DI foe
- For the fourth time this season, Cleveland State had a run of at least five consecutive goals
- Redshirt sophomore Caleb Espinoza and sophomore Stephen Russo combined to make 10 saves
- Junior Danny Tesler won 11-of-16 faceoffs and notched five ground balls
- Freshman Nick Polydoras scored the first two goals of his collegiate career in the win
- Sophomore Michael Wilson had a game-high three points on a trio of assists
The Cleveland State University lacrosse team used a strong defensive effort and led for nearly the entire game as it claimed a 7-5 win at Marquette Saturday afternoon inside Valley Fields.
It marked the first time in program history CSU has won consecutive games against Division I foes and also doubled as the Vikings' first win over a Big East opponent.
Cleveland State had never allowed five or fewer goals to a DI foe before Saturday while the goal total is also a season low for the Golden Eagles. Marquette had scored at least 12 goals in three of its first four games, scoring nine in the lone outlier.
The defensive trio of juniors Skylar Jimenez and Brandon Ruditz and redshirt sophomore Quinn Lemke contributed significantly to holding Marquette scoreless for over 36 minutes, a stretch that began early in the first quarter. Redshirt sophomore Caleb Espinoza and sophomore Stephen Russo combined to make 10 saves in the cage with Espinoza saving six of seven shots on target.
The Vikings again made it difficult for their opponent to clear as they forced the Golden Eagles into seven failed clears on the day. None of CSU's past six foes have cleared at a rate above eighty percent.
Sophomore Michael Wilson effectively distributed the ball Saturday, registering a game-high three points, all coming from assists. True freshman Nick Polydoras scored the first two goals of his collegiate career, both of which came from Wilson.
Junior Danny Tesler won 11-of-16 faceoffs on the day and tallied five ground balls.
Marquette scored the game's first goal on its second possession, immediately following a CSU turnover, but that would be the final offense of the half for the Golden Eagles.
Sophomore Jason Sullivan tied the game two possessions later for CSU off classmate Derek Radke's first assist of the season. Polydoras caused a turnover about three minutes later, and junior Stephen Masi, making his season debut coming off injury, scored to give the Vikings the lead for good. CSU led for the final 50:58 of the game.
After a save by each goaltender, junior Jack Frickleton scored via classmate Nick Wendel. Tesler won the ensuing faceoff and junior Tristen Copeland would find the twine courtesy of Wilson to give CSU a 4-1 lead.
Neither team scored in the second quarter as the Viking defense continued to make life difficult for Marquette. On the Golden Eagles' final 14 possessions of the half, they committed 11 turnovers.
Cleveland State struck first in the second half, about halfway through the third quarter, when Polydoras scored from Wilson.
Marquette then had its best stretch of the game as it scored three goals in a span of under four minutes to suddenly pull within a single goal.
Cleveland State would shift momentum slightly before the third quarter ended though as Polydoras found the net again after Jimenez caused a turnover.
The Golden Eagles scored with just under 11 minutes remaining to make it a 6-5 game.
However, the Vikings refused to let the hosts pull even. Russo made a save on Marquette's next possession before Lemke caused a turnover on the following possession.
Sophomore Tristan Hanna added an insurance goal from Sullivan with about five minutes left to play.
Cleveland State forced Marquette into turnovers on its final two possessions of the game, the second of which was caused by sophomore Matt Manfredi. Manfredi's CT helped the Vikings kill the clock to claim the win.
Cleveland State had advantages in shots, shots on goal, ground balls, faceoffs won and clearing percentage.
Wilson has at least three points in the last three games and has assists in all seven games this season. His fourth multi-assist game of the season and sixth multi-point outing gave him points in each of his first 20 collegiate starts.
Tesler has won at least 68% of his faceoffs in four of the past five games.
Hanna has scored in five straight games while Sullivan notched his second straight multi-point game and fourth of the season.
Cleveland State will have a quick turnaround as it continues its six-game road trip this coming Tuesday at Lafayette.