Nov. 1, 2011
Contact: Greg Murphy
2011 Horizon League Championship First Round
No. 5 Wright State (8-7-3) at Cleveland State (10-6-2)
Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST
Site: Krenzler Field (2,000) - Cleveland, Ohio
Series: WSU leads, 6-2-1
Last M'tg: CSU 2, @WSU 1 (10/28/11)
SETTING THE SCENE: Fourth-seeded Cleveland State opens play in the Horizon League Championship when the Vikings host fifth-seeded Wright State at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 1) at Krenzler Field. It will be a re-match from the regular season finale from Friday (Oct. 28) which saw the Vikings earn a 2-1 victory. CSU enters the league tournament at 10-6-2 overall, while the Raiders are 8-7-3. The winner of Tuesday's first round contest will advance to the semifinals and play either top-seeded Milwaukee or No. 2 seeded Detroit on Friday with both semifinal matches and Sunday's championship game being played in Milwaukee.
REVIEWING LAST WEEK: The Vikings closed the regular season at Wright State on Friday. Here is a brief synopsis.
Match #18: CSU 2, Wright State 1 (Oct. 28, Fairborn, Ohio)
Wright State took a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 61st minute, but the Vikings rallied with two goals of their own for a 2-1 win, allowing CSU to climb from sixth to fourth place in the league standings. Taylor Vidovic tied the match at 1-1 with her team-leading seventh goal of the season at the 73:42 mark and Frederike Dubeau netted the game-winner in the 86th minute off an assist from Sarah Zawie.
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 has blended 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 (3 g, 6 a, 12 pts) who has anchored the midfield. She is joined in the midfield by junior Jaime Avona (3 g, 6 pts) and freshmen Shea Levi (1 g, 2 pts) and Kelcey Fischer (1 g, 1 a, 3 pts). Seniors Samantha Salamon (1 g, 1 a, 3 pts) and Jessica Bound (1 a, 1 pt) add experience and depth in the midfield. The defense is once again strong with the return of second team all-league junior Valerie Stahl (2 g, 1 a, 5 pts) and sophomore Frederike Dubeau (1 g, 2 a, 4 pts), who was an all-newcomer team pick last year. Senior Marina Taylor, junior Carla Ragone sophomore Sarah Zawie (1 a) and and freshmen Sabrina Abram add depth to the defense. Up front, Falor has relied on the duo of sophomore Taylor Vidovic (7 g, 1 a, 15 pts), senior transfer Nancy Newcomer (3 g, 6 pts) and freshman Lynsay Strahorn (2 g, 1 a, 5 pts) to provide an offensive burst. Senior Becky Williams (0.96 GAA, 62 svs), a transfer from Ohio Dominican, has stepped in as the starting goalkeeper after the Vikings lost freshman Sarah Wood to a season-ending knee injury.
DANIELS, VIDOVIC & LEVI EARN ALL-LEAGUE HONORS: Cleveland State had three players named to the All-Horizon League teams that were announced on Monday afternoon. Senior Natalie Daniels became a four-time all-league honoree when she was named to the first team for the second straight year. She was also a second team pick in 2008, 2009, becoming the first player iin CSU history to earn all-league honors four times. Sophomore Taylor Vidovic was named to the all-league second team, while freshman Shea Levin was named to the all-newcomer team.
IN THE TOURNAMENT: Tuesday's first round match against Wright State will mark the seventh year that the Vikings will play in the Horizon League Championship with CSU sporting a 1-6 mark all-time. CSU is 1-1 at Krenzler Field in the tournament, defeating Youngstown State in 2007 in overtime and falling to Detroit last season.
VIKINGS SET SEASON WIN RECORD: Friday's win at Wright State last week improved the Vikings to 10-6-2 overall, clinching the first 10 win season in school history. The old record for wins in a season was last year when CSU went 9-8-2. In addition, CSU's .611 winning percentage is the best in school history. The old mark was set last season (.526).
GOALS, GOALS, AND MORE GOALS: Friday's 2-1 win at Wright State allowed the Vikings to set the school record for most goals scored in a season with 25 goals - by 11 different players. This year's total is one more than last year's mark of 24 which was the old school record.
... AND NOT GIVING THEM UP: The Vikings are also on pace to set a school record for fewest goals allowed in a season with 21 goals against this year. Last year's squad holds the school record with 25 goals allowed.
IN THE BOX: Prior to this year, the Vikings had attempted just three penalty kicks in the history of the program (one each in 2008, 2009, 2010), making two of the three. This year has been a different story with the Vikings drawing four penalty kicks. However, CSU has been able to convert just one when Jamie Avona netted one at Green Bay (Sept. 30).
TAYLOR MADE: Sophomore Taylor Vidovic scored CSU's first goal against Wright State on Friday (Oct. 28), improving her total to a team-leading seven goals. Vidovic's seven goals are tied for the second most in the league and the third most by a CSU player in a single season.
DANIELS DISHING IT OUT: Natalie Daniels is ranked fourth in the Horizon League with six assists this year, but is also chasing a CSU single season record. Lisa Conway currently holds the school record with seven assists in 2006. Daniels also had six assists in 2008.
... AND LIKES RECORDS: Natalie Daniels has 12 points (3 goals, 6 assists) this year, allowing her to add to her CSU career records. She enters the final regular season contest as the all-time leader in school history in goals (19), assists (19), points (57), shots (154) and shots on goal (96).
IN THE NET: Senior Becky Williams was out of soccer until joining the Vikings four games into the season to replace Sarah Wood as the starting goalkeeper after Wood injured her knee. Since then, she has started every game in goal, posting an 8-5-2 mark. She is ranked fourth in the league in shutouts (5) and fifth in goals against average (0.95) and saves (62)
NEXT UP: A win over Wright State would send the Vikings into Friday's semifinals with both matches being played in Milwaukee. CSU would play top-seeded Milwaukee at 8:00 p.m. if Valparaiso beats Butler in the other first round match. If Butler wins the first round match, the Vikings would play No. 2 seed Detroit at 5:00 p.m.