UNC Tops Cleveland State, Ends CSU’s Win Streak

UNC Tops Cleveland State, Ends CSU’s Win Streak

Boxscore (PDF)


  • Nationally ranked North Carolina claimed a 15-9 win over Cleveland State in the teams' first meeting
  • UNC scored four straight goals to close the second quarter to break open a 4-4 contest
  • Caleb Espinoza and Stephen Russo combined for 16 saves, including a season-high 11 by Russo
  • True freshman Nick Polydoras had his first career hat trick and now has five goals in the past three games
  • Sophomore Jason Sullivan had two goals and an assist and has multiple points in his last three games
  • Junior Brandon Ruditz had five ground balls and four caused turnovers
  • Freshman Adam Clark, junior Noah Gleeson and sophomore Jake Higgins all had two points
  • It was Clark's first ever multi-assist game
  • It was Cleveland State's first-ever game in the state of Maryland


The Cleveland State University lacrosse team saw its three-game winning streak come to an end Sunday afternoon as nationally ranked North Carolina claimed a 15-9 victory at William G. Tierney Field adjacent to the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

The loss to UNC ended a six-game road trip for the Vikings as they were playing in their third state in an eight-day span.

True freshman Nick Polydoras led the Vikings offensively with his first collegiate hat trick. After not scoring in his first six games, he now has two multi-goal games in the past three contests.

Sophomore Jason Sullivan had a strong return to the field after missing CSU's last game with an injury. He had two goals and an assist and now has multiple points in each of his last three games.

Redshirt sophomore Caleb Espinoza and sophomore Stephen Russo combined for 16 saves with the latter notching a season-high 11. Junior Brandon Ruditz had a game-high four caused turnovers and added five ground balls, the most in the contest by a player that did not take faceoffs.

North Carolina scored twice within the first two minutes, off a good clear and following a faceoff win.

Polydoras got the Vikings on the board about four minutes later when he followed up his initial shot, which was blocked, and deposited the rebound home.

The Tar Heels went up 3-1 with an unassisted tally, but CSU responded right away following a faceoff win by junior Danny Tesler. Sophomore Michael Harris scored off a feed from classmate Jake Higgins, with the latter posting his first assist of the season.

UNC and CSU traded goals late in the quarter as North Carolina scored a man-up goal before junior Nick Wendel scored via a feed from sophomore Carter Pavain.

CSU tied the game on its second possession of the second quarter when junior Noah Gleeson scored off a pass from Sullivan.

However, that would be the Vikings' final goal of the half. UNC scored four times over the final nine minutes, three of which came following CSU turnovers.

Sullivan opened the scoring in the second half with an unassisted tally just over a minute in.

North Carolina responded with two goals, but CSU evened the scoring in the quarter when Polydoras scored courtesy of classmate Adam Clark.

Leading 10-6 when the fourth quarter began, North Carolina put the game away by scoring twice within a minute early in the frame.

Polydoras, Higgins and Sullivan would notch goals in the final quarter, but the Vikings were not able to mount a comeback.

Sullivan now has five multi-point games this season while Gleeson notched his second straight.

Wendel has now scored in three straight games and has points in six straight affairs. Higgins posted his first multi-point outing of the year.

Clark collected the first multi-assist game of his career while Pavain notched his first point of the season.

Cleveland State will return home for the first time in over a month this coming weekend as it hosts No. 1 Penn State Saturday, March 23.

Photo courtesy of Tony Carter