Vikings Defeat Akron, 3-2

Vikings Defeat Akron, 3-2

April 2, 2011

Contact: Dan Carr

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State women's soccer team continued its spring season with a 3-2 victory over visiting Akron on Saturday (April 2).

"I feel like we are continuing to make great strides in ball possession and finishing this spring," head coach Derrek Falor said. "All of the players are working very hard and really deserve kudos for the results we are generating. I'm very proud of the winning mentality we have created."

Akron struck the opening blow 8:07 into the contest. A bad pass from one of CSU's centerbacks allowed the Zips to steal the ball and loft a shot above goalkeeper Kelly Zinkiewich's head.

Cleveland State answered the score with a goal of its own at the 39:04 mark. Nikki Bevilacqua sent a cross in from the right side to Clare Berry. She flicked the ball over to Taylor Miller, who finished by sailing the ball into the net over the keeper's head.

"Overall, I am very happy with how we played after giving up the first goal," Falor said. "We started the game a little tentative with some slow paced possession and some hesitation on 50/50 balls, but after being woken up by the 1st Akron goal, I thought we came alive. We then seemed to shift into high gear and commanded the run of play for the most part."

The Vikings took the lead just before halftime on another Miller goal. In the 44th minute Berry took a pass from Natalie Daniels and maneuvered her way behind the box, where she was taken down by an Akron defender. A penalty kick was awarded to CSU on the play. Miller took the kick and fooled the keeper by shooting it low and to the left for the score.

"On the whole, we controlled tempo and were able to create some quality chances in and around the top of the Akron box," Falor said. "For us to be able to dictate the game to the extent that we did speaks volumes for how focused our players have all been on their technical skill development"

Akron evened the score at two with a goal about 10 minutes into the second half. The Zips once again stole a pass, with the midfielder firing the ball to a streaking forward who tucked it behind Zinkiewich into the net.

Cleveland State took the lead for good in the 61st minute. Sylvia Olsby took a crossing pass from Miller and calmly shot the ball past the onrushing keeper.

"I think the player of the day was Miller," Falor said. "Taylor started up top for the first time in her career and was really good. She targeted well and constantly linked with our mids, always found ways to be dangerous by beating one and two defenders off the dribble and easily produced her best game in a Viking jersey."

While Miller was the player of the game, she was not the only Viking to step up during the win.

"On the day we did a great job of getting our wing defenders Marina Taylor and Carla Ragone far forward into the attack," Falor said. "Natalie (Daniels) had her usual dominance in center midfield with her creative possession and slashing runs on the ball. Our back line of Valerie (Stahl), Frederike (Dubeau), Marina and Carla were very good collectively and kept the game in front of them for most of the day which allowed us to stay composed as a whole."

The Vikings will conclude their spring with one last home contest on Friday (April 8). CSU will host Ohio Dominican at the Krenzler Dome at 6:00 p.m.