Vikings Play at Robert Morris on Wednesday

Vikings Play at Robert Morris on Wednesday

Aug. 22, 2011

Contact: Greg Murphy

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Match 3

Cleveland State (1-1) at Robert Morris (2-0)
Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST
Site: North Athletic Complex (500) - Pittsburgh, Pa.
Series: Series tied, 2-2-0
Last M'tg: RMU 3, @CSU 0 (9/18/09)

Game Notes (at Robert Morris) Get Acrobat Reader

SETTING THE SCENE: Cleveland State continues its busy early season schedule when the Vikings travel to Robert Morris for a 4:00 p.m. match on Wednesday (Aug. 24). It will be CSU's third match in the first six days of the season. The Vikings enter the week with a 1-1 overall record after falling at Kent State (3-2) and defeating Duquesne at home, 2-1, over the weekend. Robert Morris opened the 2011 season with a pair of wins at the Embassy Suites Kickoff Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., over the weekend, defeating Syracuse (1-0) and Eastern Washington (3-1).

REVIEWING LAST WEEK: The Vikings split a pair of matches over the weekend to open the season. Here are brief recaps of the matches:

Match #1: Kent State 3, CSU 2 (Aug. 19, Kent, Ohio)
Kent State used a pair of goals via penalty kicks to defeat Cleveland State, 3-2, in the 2011 season opener. Jaime Avona and Lynsay Strahorn scored goals for the Vikings, while Frederike Dubeau tallied an assist.

Match #2: CSU 2, Duquesne 1 (Aug. 21, Cleveland, Ohio)
Cleveland State scored two second half goals to rally for a 2-1 victory over Duquesne in the home opener. The Dukes scored less than eight minutes into the game, but the Vikings tied it on a Lynsay Strahorn goal four minutes into the second half. Valerie Stahl scored the game-winner on a direct free kick from just outside the box with 10 minutes left.

2011 SEASON PREVIEW: Coming off the best season in school history, eighth-year head coach Derrek Falor has high expectations for this year's squad. Falor will blend six returning starters and 13 letterwinners with 12 freshmen and three transfers to form this year's team. Headlining the returners is senior Natalie Daniels (1 a, 1 pt) who will once again anchor the midfield. She will be joined in the central midfield by junior Jaime Avona (1 g, 2 pts) with Shea Levi and Jess Bound on the outside. Senior Samantha Salamon, sophomore Taylor Miller and freshman Kelcey Fischer will all fight for time in the midfield. The defense is once again strong with the return of second team all-league junior Valerie Stahl (1 g, 2 pts) and sophomore Frederike Dubeau (1 a, 1 pt), who was an all-newcomer team pick last year, manning the middle of the defense. Senior Marina Taylor, junior Carla Ragone and freshman Sarah Zawie add depth to the defense. Up front, Falor will rely on the duo of sophomore Taylor Vidovic, senior transfer Nancy Newcomer and freshman Lynsay Strahorn (2 g, 4 pts) to provide an offensive burst. The biggest question mark is in the net where CSU must replace 2010 Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year Kelly Zinkiewich. Freshman Sarah Wood (4 svs, 2.01 GAA) won the starting spot in the preseason and started the first two matches.

GOOD START FOR STRAHORN: Freshman Lynsay Strahorn wasted little time in adjusting to the collegiate game. The Dayton, Ohio, native came into CSU's first two matches as a substitute both times, but made her presence felt with a goal in each match and leads the team in both goals (2) and points (4). She scored her first career goal in the 35th minute at Kent State to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead. In Sunday's win over Duquesne, Strahorn scored in the 49th minute to tie the match at 1-1.

THEY'RE ALL SET: It may be just two games, but the Vikings have been making the most of their set pieces thusfar. They scored a goal off a 40-yard free kick at Kent State when Lynsay Strahorn flicked the ball past the keeper. On Sunday, both of CSU's goals were off set pieces. The first came off a quick restart with Strahorn again finishing a cross with a flick past the keeper. The game-winner came on Valerie Stahl's direct free kick from just outside the box.

DANIELS LIKES RECORDS: With her one assist through two games, senior Natalie Daniels continued to add to her CSU career records. She is the all-time leader in goals (16), assists (14) and points (46).

... AFTER DOING HER DAMAGE LAST YEAR: Natalie Daniels put together the best offensive season in school history last year, setting CSU single season school records for goals (9) and points (23). She also dished out six assists, tied for the second most in a season in school history.

... AND SETS TWO MORE RECORDS: With her eight shots, including four on goal, last week, Natalie Daniels broke two more CSU career records. She now has 126 career shots, breaking Jennifer Wieand's old mark of 120 shots. In addition, Daniels' 81 shots on goal have tied her with Wieand for the most in progarm history.

VIKINGS TABBED FIFTH IN PRESEASON POLL: Cleveland State was picked to finish fifth of nine teams in the 2011 Horizon League Preseason poll that was announced on Aug. 5. Three-time defending league champion Milwaukee topped the poll with seven first place votes and 63 points. Butler was second with 52 points, while Wright State was third with 49 points and Detroit fourth with 41 points. Both WSU and UDM each received one first place vote. The Vikings were fifth with 38 points and were followed by Loyola (31), Valparaiso (24), Green Bay (18) and Youngstown State (8).

HOME SWEET HOME: The Vikings were able to do a lot of their winning at home last year, going 7-2-2 at Krenzler Field to set a school record for most home wins in a season. It was a huge boost for CSU, which was just 11-38-3 at home during the first six seasons as a program.

THE DEFENSE DOES NOT REST: The strength of the Vikings this year could be the backline where CSU returns three starters, including two all-league players, who helped the squad set a school record for fewest goals allowed in a season (25). Headlining the list of returnees is junior Valerie Stahl, a second team all-league pick last year, and sophomore Frederike Dubeau, who was named to the all-newcomer team. Senior Marina Taylor is also back, having started 38 of the 43 career matches she has played in, while junior Carla Ragone also returns after playing 14 matches with eight starts last year.

LIVE ONLINE: Sunday's match against Duquesne was the first of eight women's soccer matches that are scheduled to be video streamed live online via the Horizon League Network and Due to a conflict, the Sept. 30 match against Loyola is the only home match that will not be streamed.

EARLY START: When the Vikings took the field at Kent State on Friday (Aug. 19), it was the earliest regular season match in school history. The previous earliest start to a season was last year when the Vikings won at Marshall on Aug. 22.

NEXT UP: CSU will be out of action until next weekend when the Vikings host Bowling Green on Friday (Sept. 2) at 7:00 p.m. and Ohio on Sunday (Sept. 4) at 1:00 p.m. Both matches will be played at Krenzler Field.