THE OPENING KICK:
• Cleveland State closes its five-match road trip with a BIG EAST side before playing its Horizon League home opener later in the week.
• CSU travels to Xavier Tuesday, Sept. 12, to take on a Musketeer side that is unbeaten in its last four matches.
• The Vikings have won nine of 10 in the all-time series, with Xavier winning last season, 1-0. It's the first time CSU has traveled to Xavier since 2003.
• The Vikings resume HL action by hosting Northern Kentucky Saturday.
• CSU will be seeking its first win over the Norse in its third match with the side. The teams played to a scoreless draw in Kentucky last season.
• Cleveland State took on No. 13 Michigan State and dropped a 1-0 decision. The Vikings played tough, outshooting MSU, 6-2, in the second half.
• The Vikings opened HL play with a comeback, 2-1, win at IUPUI. Alec Nagucki tied the match before CSU scored the winning goal in the final minute.
• Kirk Harwat is in his first season as head coach for CSU after serving as an assistant for the program for the past five seasons.
• Senior midfielder Alec Nagucki, an All-Horizon League First Team honoree last season, has played in every match--all 60--since he arrived on campus.
• CSU has been seeded fourth or better in the Horizon League Tournament in eight of the past nine seasons.
• CSU lost two senior central defenders from last year's team that combined to play in 108 matches, with Sergio Manesio twice earning Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year honors. CSU has started two newcomers at central defense in four of its first five matches.
• Twenty one of Cleveland State's last 24 goals have come in the second half. In fact, 10 of those goals have taken place in the 77th minute or later.
• CSU was one of the most disciplined teams in the Horizon League in 2016. It accrued 20 total cards while every other team in the League was issued at least 28. The Vikings have the lowest number of cards/game thus far in 2017.
• There are 10 newcomers this season, nine freshmen and a junior college transfer. Five of the 10 have started at least one game in the first five matches.
• Senior co-captain Hesham Hammouda and freshman Thomas M'Barek have played every minute--all 450--for CSU entering this week.
• The Vikings allowed the fewest goals in the Horizon League last season, conceding 16 goals in 17 matches.
• After not having a point in his debut season, sophomore Thomas Bielanski scored his first goal and tallied his first assist in the past two matches.
• Twelve of the 14 goals scored in matches involving Cleveland State this season have come in the second half.
• Despite being 2-3, CSU has a 35-23 edge in shots on goal for the season.
• Seven Vikings have started all five of the opening matches, a group that includes three sophomores and a true freshman.
• Alec Nagucki's tying goal at IUPUI was his first since his freshman season.
• CSU will play a single match next week, as it will have a full week off before a match for the first time this season.
• The Vikings head to Oakland, the preseason favorite, Saturday, Sept. 23.