THE OPENING KICK
Cleveland State hosts the league's preseason favorite as it seeks its first four-game winning streak in eight years.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Wright State enters with a 6-5-2 overall record on the campaign. After winning four straight matches to move to 5-2-0 on the season, the Raiders are 1-3-2 in their past six matches. However, that stretch has seen the Raiders earn draws with Duke and Marshall, both top-50 foes nationally, along with overtime losses to Oakland and UIC, who occupy the top two spots in the league table. The Raiders returned five all-league players from last season, three of whom earned first-team accolades, including Goaltender of the Year Joel Sundell. WSU ranks among the top 25 in Division I in goals as well as shots per game. Deri Corfe tops the team in points and has six goals and five assists.
AGAINST THIS OPPONENT
Cleveland State is 19-16-1 all-time against Wright State in a series that dates back to 1971. The sides have met at least once every campaign since 1989. Wright State claimed a win at home last season, but CSU is 10-4-0 in meetings within the past 10 seasons, including winning twice in 2017. While the winning team has scored exactly four goals in the past two meetings, the winning team has scored exactly two goals in seven of the past 10 regular-season matchups. Lawrence Karpeh has a pair of goals in his career against the Raiders. The only tie in the series came in 1993.
LAST TIME OUT
Cleveland State claimed a 2-0 win over IUPUI last Saturday as Gabriel Pewu and Thomas Bielanski both scored in the final half hour. CSU kept the clean sheet for its fourth shutout of the season. It was the first match in the all-time series decided by more than one goal.
GOALS FOR GABRIEL
Senior Gabriel Pewu tallied the game-winning goal last time out in CSU's 2-0 win at IUPUI. He now has four goals in the past three matches he's started. Pewu's team-leading seven goals have established a new career high as he has four regular-season matches remaining. Pewu is second in the Horizon League in goals per game vs. Division I foes.
POWERING PAST POWER FIVE
With its win Oct. 12 at Ohio State, the Vikings claimed their second result this season against a Power Five opponent. In fact, Cleveland State is now 3-0-1 in its past four matches against Power Five foes, all of which have come on the road. The Vikings have scored 11 total goals in these matches and came back from deficits in two of the matches to earn a result.
OH SO CLOSE
In all four of Cleveland State's losses this season, the Vikings came up one goal short. Only three times in CSU's 11 matches this season has a team won a match by more than one goal.
After posting its third and fourth shutouts of the season last week, Cleveland State has allowed no more than one goal in eight matches this season. The Vikings now lead the Horizon League in fewest goals allowed (11) and goals against average (0.97).
Senior Lawrence Karpeh sits second on the team in goals (4) and points (9). Karpeh has a point in four of the past six matches, including scoring in two of the past three. He scored at Ohio State for a second straight season, finding the net via a header for the first time overall since he was a freshman. He then scored what proved to be the winning goal Oct. 15, converting a penalty kick that he had drawn.
BEATING THE BUCKEYES AGAIN
Cleveland State claimed a 3-2 win at Ohio State in mid-October as Gabriel Pewu had a brace and Lawrence Karpeh also scored. CSU went up 2-0 only to see the Buckeyes find the equalizers in a span of fewer than 30 seconds, neither of which came from the run of play. However, Pewu broke the deadlock fewer than three minutes later with his winning strike. It marked the second straight season in which CSU won at Ohio State.
WORKING (AND WINNING IN) OVERTIME
Cleveland State posted a 2-1 victory over Northern Kentucky in overtime Sept. 21. The Vikings' most recent previous overtime victory had come in the 2015 Horizon League Tournament. At the time, it marked CSU's first win in extra time in its past 57 matches and its first win in its past 13 overtime matches.
Twenty of the 21 outfield Vikings have played this season. Seven Vikings have made their NCAA soccer debut this season, six outfield players and goaltender Omeed Naeemy. Naeemy, freshman Pablo Kawecki and transfer Andrew Nicholas are the three debutants to start a match thus far this season.
ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL:
Trailing 2-0 with under 20 minutes to play in the season opener at Louisville, Cleveland State rallied to earn a result. It was the first time in CSU's last 50 matches that it had rallied from a multi-goal deficit to earn a result. The most recent such occurrence had come at Robert Morris in August 2016. CSU has now come from behind to earn a result at least once in 14 consecutive seasons and has achieved the feat on the road in nine straight seasons.
ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL, PART II
Trailing 1-0 with under five minutes to play in the HL home opener, Cleveland State rallied to claim the win. The Vikings tied the match in the 86th minute before winning it in the 100th minute on a Gabriel Pewu strike. It was the second time this season the Vikings scored two goals in under 15 minutes to turn a deficit into a result.
ALRIGHT AGAINST ACC:
In earning a 2-2 tie against Louisville to open its season, Cleveland State secured a result against an ACC side for the fourth year in the last five seasons. The Vikings took down Pittsburgh on the road last season, 4-3.
LEADING THE CHARGE:
Cleveland State is under the direction of first-year head coach Sinisa Ubiparipovic in 2019. Ubiparipovic, who attended high school and college in Northeast Ohio, was elevated after previously serving as the program's top assistant. He appeared in over 200 professional soccer matches, including an even 100 in the Major League Soccer (MLS) ranks with New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.
- Thomas Bielanski scored his first goal since September 2017 last time out
- Cleveland State put forth 22 shots last time out, its most in a regulation match since 2016
- Ryan Kolonick posted his first point of the season with an assist last time out
- Cleveland State did not allow a shot on goal in its Oct. 15 win over Duquesne
- Cleveland State has won its first four home matches for the first time since 1987
- CSU has outscored its opposition 9-1 at home this season
- Andrew Nicholas' goal vs. Duquesne was his first as a collegian
- Nicholas had picked up his first collegiate point with an assist vs. Robert Morris Sept. 4
- Pablo Kawecki scored his first collegiate goal at Cincinnati and notched his first assist Oct. 15
- Thomas Bielanski notched the first multi-assist match of his career at Ohio State
- CSU has erased a deficit with back-to-back goals within 15 minutes of each other in three matches this season
- Four Vikings—Lawrence Karpeh, Ryan Kolonick, Omeed Naeemy and Hayden Parente—have started all 11 matches this season
- Jannis Schmidt totaled a goal and two assists in the first two matches of the season
- CSU's win over Northern Kentucky was its first in the five all-time meetings between the teams
- CSU has now scored three goals after the 85th minute in the last two meetings with NKU
- Thomas M'Barek's goal vs. Robert Morris was the first of his collegiate career
- Omeed Naeemy notched his first shutout as a collegian vs. Robert Morris
- Naeemy has four shutouts on the season
- Ryan Kolonick was named HL Defensive Player of the Week Oct. 21
- Gabriel Pewu was named HL Offensive Player of the Week Oct. 14
- Omeed Naeemy was named HL Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 30
- Jannis Schmidt was named HL Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 3
- Fifty four of Cleveland State's last 79 goals have come in the second half. In fact, 19 of those goals have taken place in the 77th minute or later
- The last seven Cleveland State head coaches combined to post a 5-0-2 record in their first game as the Vikings' head coach
PRESEASON FREE KICKS:
- Vlad Jandric and Thomas M'Barek were both selected All-Horizon League Second Team in 2018
- It was the second straight season that Jandric earned all-conference honors
- Cleveland State returns 17 student-athletes from last year's roster, 16 of which competed in a match
- Six Vikings return that started at least 10 matches last season, with five of those six competing in at least 14 of the squad's 15 fixtures in 2018
- CSU has eight newcomers on the roster, four true freshmen and four transfers
- Thomas M'Barek was the only Viking to start all 15 matches last season
- Gabriel Pewu and Jannis Schmidt were the other returning Vikings to play in all 15 fixtures in 2018
- Cleveland State is facing at least one Big Ten opponent for the third straight year and an ACC foe for the fifth time in six seasons
- The Vikings will face four of the top 40 programs from last season's final RPI, including two of the top five
- Cleveland State has earned a top-four seed in the HL Tournament seven times since the league went to a six-team format, which is the highest such figure among its league peers
- Cleveland State won consecutive matches at Ohio State and at Pittsburgh last season, the first time since 1984 the Vikings won back-to-back matches against teams currently in a Power Five conference
- Cleveland State's win at Ohio State last season was its first victory over the Buckeyes since 1996 (though the sides have not played every year since then)
- With a 2-0 win at Ohio State last year, Cleveland State has now shut out a Power Five side in three of the past four seasons and six of the past nine
- The Vikings twice rallied from deficits to claim a 4-3 win at Pitt, scoring the winning goal with under six minutes remaining
- Gabriel Pewu had six goals and an assist in the final 11 matches last season
- Vlad Jandric had a hat trick in last year's 3-1 win over UIC, the first by a Viking since 2013
- The Vikings were only outshot once in Horizon League play last season
- Among the 75 starts made by Vikings on defense or in goal last season: 31 starts were made by true freshman or redshirt freshman, 40 starts were made by sophomores with two starts by a junior and two by a senior
- Ryan Kolonick led all CSU freshmen with 11 starting assignments last season
- Thomas M'Barek was named Academic All-Horizon League in 2018
- Noah Pio has joined the Viking coaching staff as a student assistant after playing for CSU the past three seasons