THE OPENING KICK:
• Cleveland State continues Horizon League action this weekend by taking on the favorite from the League's preseason poll.
• CSU travels to Oakland Saturday, Sept. 23, and will be playing with a full week of rest for the first time this season.
• The Vikings won last year's meeting, 2-0, to even the all-time series between the teams at 7-7-0.
• Gianluca DiFranco scored the winning goal in last year's meeting.
• In the last meeting in Michigan between these teams, CSU claimed a 4-3 victory in overtime. It is the only game the Vikings have played in the last eight seasons in which both teams scored at least three goals.
• Cleveland State finished its five match road trip by dropping a 2-1 decision at Xavier, as Vlad Jandric scored his first-career goal in the setback.
• The Vikings were then forced to settle for a scoreless draw at home against Northern Kentucky despite outshooting the Norse, 22-5.
• 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 62--since he arrived on campus.
• CSU has been seeded fourth or better in the Horizon League Tournament in eight of the past nine seasons, the only team that can make this claim.
• 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 five of its first seven matches.
• Twenty one of Cleveland State's last 25 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 fewest number of cards thus far in 2017 (10).
• There are 10 newcomers this season, nine freshmen and a junior college transfer. Six of the 10 have played while five of the 10 have started.
• Senior co-captain Hesham Hammouda is the only Viking outfield player to play every minute--all 650--for CSU this season.
• The Vikings allowed the fewest goals in the Horizon League last season, conceding 16 goals in 17 matches.
• Cleveland State enters the weekend ranked among the top 35 in Division I in shots on goal per game (6.43).
• CSU has played two consensus top-25 teams (Michigan & Michigan State) while Xavier is also in the top 25 of College Soccer News.
• Despite its record, CSU has a 45-29 edge in shots on goal for the season.
• Five Vikings have started all seven of the opening matches, a group that includes three sophomores and two seniors.
• CSU's 22 shots vs. NKU were its second most in the past five seasons.
• CSU will begin a three-match homestand with a pair of matches next week. It hosts Loyola (Md.) and Belmont Monday and Saturday, respectively.