Sep 24, 2017
THE OPENING KICK:
• After playing six of its first eight matches on the road, Cleveland State opens a three-match homestand with two home contests this week.
• CSU welcomes Loyola (Md.) this Monday, Sept. 25, as it has its shortest
turnaround of the season, playing fewer than 48 hours after its last match.
• Monday's meeting will be the first between the Vikings and the Greyhounds. It's the first new opponent for CSU since Northern Kentucky in 2015.
• CSU then continues HL play by hosting Belmont Saturday, Sept. 30.
• The Vikings have won all three previous League meetings with the Bruins, all of which came by one goal. In last year's 2-1 win at Belmont, Hesham Hammouda scored the winning goal with an assist from Noah Pio.
• CSU had a single match last week, taking down Oakland 3-0 on the road.
• 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 63--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 central defenders from last year's team that combined to play in 108 matches, with Sergio Manesio twice earning HL Defensive Player of the Year honors. CSU has started two newcomers at central defense in six of eight matches.
• By taking seven points from its first three Horizon League matches, CSU is off to its best start in League play since the 2002 team won its first three matches.
• CSU's 3-0 win at Oakland was its first three-goal win in HL play since 2013. Amazingly, the last time CSU won by 3+ goals in a road League match came in 1993.
• Twenty three of Cleveland State's last 28 goals have come in the second half. In fact, 11 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 (11).
• Six of CSU's 10 newcomers have played this season and five have started.
• The Vikings allowed the fewest goals in the Horizon League last season, conceding 16 goals in 17 matches.
• CSU has played two consensus top-25 teams (Michigan & Michigan State) while Xavier is also in the top 25 of College Soccer News.
• Four Vikings have started all eight matches thus far, sophomores Sebastian Kalk and Thomas Bielanski and seniors Alec Nagucki and Hesham Hammouda.
• CSU has allowed one goal from the run of play in its last five matches.
• Cleveland State has outshot its first three HL foes by a combined 53-24 margin. The Vikings lead the League in shots and corner kicks in League matches.
• Thomas M'Barek's assist at Oakland was his first collegiate point and the first point by a CSU defender this season.
• CSU is 4-0-1 in its last five home matches, allowing one goal in that time.
• CSU will close its three-match homestand and continue League action with a single match next week as it hosts Milwaukee Saturday, Oct. 7.