CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University men's soccer team concluded its preseason slate Monday evening by playing to a 1-1 draw with Ohio Wesleyan at a mostly cloudy and very humid Krenzler Field.
With the teams tied after 90 minutes, the coaching staffs agreed to take part in a shootout for the benefit of both clubs. Ohio Wesleyan converted four kicks to the CSU's three.
Seven Vikings started Monday that had yet to earn a start in the preseason, including five student-athletes new to the CSU roster this season.
The first half saw both of the game's goals and the majority of scoring chances, with the significant humidity perhaps slowing down the number of opportunities as the game continued.
Sophomore Lawrence Karpeh had a decent look at goal in the second minute of the contest, but his shot from the goalkeeper's left sailed high.
The Vikings then had two scoring chances in the span of less than four minutes, both originating with well-taken free kicks by redshirt junior Brent Nanchoff. Junior Jordan Ianiro got a clear header on the first chance, but his shot sailed just wide of the keeper's left post. Redshirt junior Madifing Conde headed the second one toward goal, but the goaltender was able to snuff out the shot.
CSU pulled ahead in the 27th minute when a defender played a long ball down the right flank to Karpeh. After dribbling, Karpeh played a ball across the width of the box to junior Noah Pio. Pio beat his defender with some nifty footwork, escaping free near the touch line and then blasted home a goal from a tight angle.
Ohio Wesleyan would tie the match fewer than 11 minutes later when Will Sharer, facing away from goal, made a great backheel pass to his team Jarrod Ferstl. Ferstl made a couple of touches and shot low from just inside the corner of the box, sending the ball inside the far post to equalize.
The Battling Bishops looked to pull ahead late in the first half, taking three shots and two corner kicks over the remainder of the frame. Redshirt freshman Skylar Jeppesen was called into action a few times and came up with two nice saves over the final five minutes of the half.
OWU used a long throw-in to create a chance right after the half, but Jeppesen made a leaping save to tip a shot over the crossbar. The Battling Bishops had a decent look in the 62nd minute when a shot from well inside the box was hit into the side netting as Jeppesen came out to close down the angle.
Cleveland State held OWU without a shot for the final 25 minutes, and took three of its own, but was unable to find a winner.
CSU outshot OWU, 13-12, for the match while Jeppesen made six saves on the evening. Karpeh took a game-high four shots in the match.
Head coach Kirk Harwat saw 23 of his players see action during the preseason segment, with 21 earning at least one starting assignment.
Cleveland State opens the regular season this Friday, Aug. 25, when it hosts Robert Morris at 7:00 p.m.