Photo courtesy of Mohamed Almotawah
THE OPENING KICK:
• Cleveland State continues its four match road trip with a single match.
• CSU travels to UIC Saturday, Oct. 21, at 2:00 p.m. ET in League play.
• CSU is 23-15-4 all-time against the Flames. Its 23 wins against UIC are its most against any opponent in program history.
• The Vikings have held the upper hand in the series with the Flames recently as CSU has won six of the past seven meetings. Six of the past seven matches have been one-goal affairs.
• Junior Gianluca DiFranco scored in the sixth minute in last year's 1-0 win over UIC while senior Alec Nagucki had an assist in the 2014 win.
• Cleveland State fell behind early and lost, 2-0, to perennial power Akron.
• CSU then tied HL leader Green Bay, 1-1. The Vikings had the lead through Noah Pio before the Phoenix equalized in the final minute of regulation.
• 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 68--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 that combined to play in 108 matches, with Sergio Manesio twice earning HL Defensive Player of the Year. CSU has started two newcomers at central defense in nine of 13 matches.
• Noah Pio has a point in four of the past six matches and has scored in three of the past six. Pio leads the League in shots in League matches with 24.
• Six CSU players have posted their first point as a Viking in 2017, with three--Bielanski, Conde and Jandric--scoring for the first time.
• Twenty five of Cleveland State's last 33 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/match in 2017 (1.69).
• Six of Cleveland State's 10 newcomers have started a match this season.
• The Vikings allowed the fewest goals in the Horizon League last season, conceding 16 goals in 17 matches.
• Six of CSU's eight non-League opponents are in the top 100 in the RPI. Five of the eight are among the top 55, including three in the top 25.
• Four Vikings have played in all 13 matches--sophomore Thomas Bielanski, seniors Hesham Hammouda and Alec Nagucki and junior Noah Pio.
• CSU has allowed six goals from the run of play in its last 10 matches.
• Cleveland State has outshot its first six HL foes by a combined 87-61 margin. The Vikings lead the League in corner kicks in HL matches (35).
• Vlad Jandric & Noah Pio have scored CSU's last six goals in HL play.
• CSU is the only Horizon League team not to attempt a penalty this season.
• CSU will close its road slate in the penultimate week of the regular season.
• The Vikings will play at Cincinnati Tuesday, Oct. 24, before hosting defending regular season HL champion Wright State Saturday, Oct. 28.