Oct. 6, 2010
Contact: Dan Carr
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Junior Brian Donnelly scored the first goal of his Cleveland State career and the Vikings got another score off a Pittsburgh own-goal, as CSU defeated the Panthers, 2-0, on Wednesday night (Oct. 6).
Donnelly's goal came 27:27 into the first half, a period in which the Vikings outshot the Panthers 7-1. Donnelly took the ball off a free kick and put the ball into the air to give another Viking the chance for a header. The goalkeeper misjudged the ball, which ended up going past him and into the net.
The night's other goal came in the 36th minute of the match. Jeff Baker passed the ball up to Audric Kilroy. A Pittsburgh defender attempted to block Kilroy's ensuing crossing pass, but the ball deflected off his foot and into the net.
"The first half was a good, solid half," head coach Ali Kazemaini said. "We had some very good spurts where we strung together 13, 14, 15 passes at a time. We stayed aggressive, and kept the pressure on Pittsburgh."
With an early two-goal lead, the Vikings began to take advantage of substitutions. A total of 20 CSU players saw time during the match.
"That was the goal," Kazemaini said. "We were hoping to get a cushion and get some players into the game, and we were happy to accomplish that. It wasn't meant as any disrespect to Pittsburgh, but next Saturday [when we host Valparaiso] we are coming to the most important juncture of our season, and we wanted to get players rested."
The Vikings outshot Pittsburgh 11-6, including a 6-3 advantage on shots on goal. Almir Suljevic saw his first time in the net this season, replacing Brad Stuver late in the match. The two combined to give CSU its second shutout of the season. Stuver made recorded three saves.
CSU improved to 5-6 on the season, while Pittsburgh fell to 5-4-1.
The Vikings will return to Horizon League play on Saturday when they welcome Valparaiso to Krenzler Field in what Kazemaini calls "the most important game of the season." That match will start at 7:00 p.m.
"The winner of the Valparaiso game will have a good chance of finishing in the top six of the Horizon League," Kazemaini said. The top six teams in the conference play in the Horizon League Championship at the end of the season.
"If we win on Saturday, we will be 3-2 in the conference with what I consider a favorable schedule left," Kazemaini said. "A win on Saturday would give us the confidence to go in to our remaining matches and move up the ladder. Securing one of those six spots is our priority right now."
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