OFF AND RUNNING
The Cleveland State University lacrosse team concludes its third season by hosting Detroit Mercy. A win by the Vikings against the Titans would push CSU's winning percentage above .500.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Detroit Mercy owns an 8-4 mark on the season and has won four of its last five games. Matthew VanGalen leads the team with 49 points and ranks among the top 10 in DI in assists per game. Seth Mendell tops the squad with 31 goals while Alex Jarzembowski has won 60.8 percent of his faceoffs this season. Logan Shamblin owns a .530 save percentage playing every minute in the cage and is coming off a 21-save performance in a win at Siena.
DEFENSE TO OFFENSE
Junior LSM Zach Whitenack was a force on both ends of the field in last weekend's win at Utah. He had a career-high three points, including his second multi-goal game this month, while setting or tying season highs in caused turnovers (3) and ground balls (4). After not having a point in 2017, Whitenack showcased an offensive side of his game last season, scoring five goals on just 12 shots. He has seven points, including five goals, this season.
FIRST TO EIGHTY
Michael Wilson has 39 points in his past nine games, including seven last time out against Utah. He has posted at least five points four times in his last nine games, including a school record eight points in the March 12 win at Lafayette. Wilson's seven points April 20 made him the first Viking to surpass 80 career points.
HANNA'S HAT TRICKS
Tristan Hanna has notched hat tricks in seven of the past 12 games despite having 'only' two goals last time out. He has 25 goals and seven assists in this stretch after having a single point in the first two games. Hanna netted a career-best six points, including a new high three assists, in CSU's April 6 win. Earlier this season Hanna became the first Viking with three straight hat tricks.
(NOT) CLEAR SAILING
CSU has often forced its opponents into failed clears this season. The Vikings' foes are just 232-for-325 on clears this season with the 71.4% mark sitting well below the DI median of 83.3%. No Viking opponent has cleared above 83.3% since the season opener. Each of CSU's last four opponents have cleared at a 70% clip or lower.
LAST WE MET
Detroit Mercy used a huge second quarter, scoring seven goals, en route to a 12-6 victory in Michigan last season, evening the series between the teams. The Titans won 13 of 21 faceoffs in that contest after CSU won 14 of 22 in the first meeting. Jack Frickleton has two multi-point games against the Titans while Stephen Masi and Nick Wendel both have four career goals vs. Detroit.
With its win last time out at Utah, Cleveland State secured its seventh win of 2019, extending the young program's new high total. The Vikings had four wins last season and had five wins in 2017, one of the DI variety.
STEPHEN STOPPING SHOTS
In eight of the final 10 games last season, Stephen Russo contributed 10+ saves. He also stopped at least half of the shots he faced in six of those outings. Russo finished sixth among DI freshman in save percentage (.515) in 2018. He has stopped at least half the shots he's faced seven times in 2019. He made 12 saves last time out at Utah, a game after he made 11 vs. RMU.
MORE GB's = MORE W'S
Cleveland State had a 31-24 advantage in ground balls over Utah last time out in collecting the victory. As a result, the Vikings improved to 7-2 this season when having more ground balls than their opponent. CSU has won 10 of its last 12 games overall when it has more GB's than its opponent.
READY FOR HIS CHANCE
After playing in just three of the opening 10 games, freshman Zack Kasson has made his mark this month. Kasson has points in each of the three games he's played in April, registering multiple points twice. He posted three points in his first career start April 6.
ANY GIVEN SATURDAY, PART II
Juniors Skylar Jimenez and Brandon Ruditz were the two Vikings to start all 14 contests in 2018. They became the fourth and fifth Vikings to start every game in a season. Tristan Hanna and Quinn Lemke will join that group if they start the season finale while Ruditz can achieve the feat for a second straight year.
Junior Tristen Copeland had a season-high four points in last weekend's win. He netted his first hat trick since February of his freshman year with two of his three tallies being assisted by Michael Wilson. Copeland now has four multi-point efforts in the last seven games.
BOOST OFF THE BENCH
Cleveland State has had a significant advantage over its opponents in getting scoring off its bench this season. CSU has 74 goals by its non-starters this season compared to just 33 by its opponents. The Viking reserves have been outscored by their counterparts in just two games this season.
Skylar Jimenez had a strong game April 13, causing four turnovers. In doing so, he reached 15 CT for the season, the first Viking to ever hit that mark. Brandon Ruditz reached 15 CT for the season last time out. Both players are tied with 33 career caused turnovers, the most among Vikings.