OFF AND RUNNING
The Cleveland State University lacrosse team closes a four-game homestand against a Robert Morris team rounding into form. CSU will also honor Sherwin Gersten in a Senior Day ceremony Saturday.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Defending NEC champion Robert Morris has suffered a number of tight defeats to quality foes as it has lost five games by three or fewer goals, including two against ranked foes. However, RMU has corrected course recently, having won three straight entering the weekend after downing nationally ranked Lehigh on the road earlier this week. Preseason All-American Alex Heger had 18 saves in the win over Lehigh while RMU has three players with 40+ points.
FIVE STRAIGHT SCORES (OR MORE)
Cleveland State has reeled off a run of 5+ goals in six of its past 11 games. CSU's 6-0 run vs. Michigan represented the most consecutive goals scored by the Vikings against a nationally ranked opponent. CSU has posted at least five straight goals in wins over Bellarmine, Mercer, Marquette, Canisius and St. Bonaventure. The Vikings posted 13 straight goals in the win over Canisius and 10 consecutive in the victory over the Bonnies.
HAMILTON TAKES CENTER STAGE
Freshman Andrew Hamilton put forth a third straight strong outing last time out, winning 16 of 20 faceoffs while tallying a season high 12 ground balls. He had won 15 of 25 faceoffs in the win over Canisius earlier in the week. Hamilton also won 13 of 22 faceoffs against Penn State preseason All-American Gerard Arceri March 23 in his first significant action in a competitive game.
SHERWIN'S SENIOR DAY
Sherwin Gersten will be honored in a Senior Day ceremony Saturday. Gersten will be graduating from CSU later this year and already has a full-time job lined up in Cleveland. Gersten has played in 35 of a possible 40 games and has posted 13 goals and five assists. He posted his first career hat trick last time out.
(NOT) CLEAR SAILING
CSU has often forced its opponents into failed clears this season. The Vikings' foes are just 199-for-277 on clears this season with the 71.8% mark sitting well below the DI median of 83.6%. No Viking opponent has cleared above 83.6% since the season opener as CSU's foes have cleared at just 70.5% over the past 11 games.
LAST WE MET
Despite Cleveland State holding an advantage in shots, faceoffs won and clearing percentage, the Vikings fell to nationally ranked Robert Morris. The Colonials used a big second half to pull away from Cleveland State and claim a 14-5 win in Pennsylvania last season. Danny Tesler won 16 of 21 faceoffs and had 11 ground balls while Stephen Russo made 13 saves in the cage.
With its win last time out vs. St. Bonaventure, Cleveland State secured its sixth win of 2019, a new high for the young program. The Vikings had four wins last season and had five wins in 2017, one of the Division I variety. CSU has three games left this season.
CAN YOU ASSIST ME?
In its April 6 win over St. Bonaventure, 14 of the 18 Cleveland State goals were assisted. The 14 assists represented a new standard for the program. Cleveland State had 13 assists in its wins over Bellarmine and Canisius. In its first two games, CSU assisted 35.3% of its goals. In the last 10 games, the Vikings have assisted 71.4% of their goals.
MORE GB's = MORE W'S
Cleveland State had a 42-18 advantage in ground balls over St. Bonaventure last time out in winning its sixth game of the season. In doing so, the Vikings improved to 6-1 this season when having more ground balls than their opponent. CSU has won nine of its last 10 games overall when it has more GB's than its opponent.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH WENDEL
Junior Nick Wendel was one of CSU's most consistent offensive performers over the first two seasons. He has points in 28 of his last 32 games entering this weekend and has scored in 16 of his last 22 outings. Wendel is riding an eight-game point streak. After back-to-back hat tricks, including five goals in the win over Canisius, he had a career-high three assists last time out.
READY FOR HIS CHANCE
After playing in just three of the opening 10 games, freshman Zack Kasson has made his mark in the past two. Kasson had five points in two games last week, registering multiple points in both contests. He posted three points in his first career start last time out.
SPREAD THE WEALTH
Cleveland State had a variety of offensive contributors in its two wins last week. Eleven different Vikings scored in both games, CSU's highest such figure against a DI foe. Cleveland State also had 15 players collect at least one point in each game, a new program record.
LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD
Cleveland State tied its program records for goals and broke its record for assists in last week's games. CSU's 19 goals April 2 tied its standard while its 14 assists April 6 was a new high. The 32 total points in both games are the most ever produced by a Viking squad. Cleveland State has produced a double-figure goal total in three straight games for the first time ever.
HANNA'S HAT TRICKS
Tristan Hanna has notched hat tricks in six of the past 10 games after netting a career-high six points last time out. He has 20 goals and seven assists in this stretch after having a single point in the first two games. Hanna's 20 goals have come on 42 shots and have been assisted by nine players. Earlier this season Hanna became the first Viking with three straight hat tricks.