Cleveland State Cruises to Second Straight Win

Cleveland State Cruises to Second Straight Win

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University lacrosse team won for the second time in under 24 hours, as it ran past John Carroll, 15-8, during the Sixth City Showdown Sunday afternoon inside Krenzler Dome.

After garnering its first-ever victory in program history Saturday evening, the Vikings again won by seven goals Sunday, but this time in a higher-scoring affair.

The Vikings came flying out of the gates, scoring five first-quarter goals for the second straight day. Cleveland State outshot the Blue Streaks, 23-7, in the first half and would take a 13-4 lead into intermission.

In the opening 30 minutes, the Vikings did not have a failed clear, turned the ball over only four times and won 14-of-18 faceoffs.

For the second consecutive game, Tristen Copeland led all players with a game-high four goals.

Jake Lewis, who posted his first collegiate hat trick and added an assist, and Noah Gleeson, who scored twice and posted two helpers, tied for game high honors with four points.

Mark Urso won the game's opening faceoff and collected the ground ball. Just 10 seconds into the contest, Gleeson fed Lewis to put the hosts on top.

John Carroll would tie the game about four minutes later, but the Vikings would score four of the next five goals to close the opening quarter up by three.

Lewis and Gleeson scored less than a minute apart to put Cleveland State back up two, and Stephen Masi and Sherwin Gersten hit the net later in the quarter for CSU. Gersten's tally came after Caleb Espinoza had made a man-down save to help kill off a Viking penalty.

The Blue Streaks tried to keep it close, scoring two of the first three goals of the second quarter, to cut their deficit to two at the midpoint of the second stanza.

However, the Viking offense roared to life, scoring seven consecutive goals in under seven minutes to close the opening half. Five different Vikings scored during the run while Copeland supplied three goals of his own in that stretch. The CSU man-up unit was highly successful in this portion of the game as it converted each of its three opportunities in this seven-minute span.

After a first half featuring 17 combined goals, the second half was much quieter from an offensive perspective, with the teams combining for only six strikes.

Espinoza made four third-quarter saves to help his team keep a comfortable margin, including a man-down stop that allowed the Vikings to clear and kill off the remaining penalty time. The Blue Streaks would cut the lead to six late in the fourth quarter, but the outcome was rarely in doubt as the game wore on.

Each of the four Vikings goaltenders on the roster saw action while the nature of the contest allowed a number of Vikings to make their collegiate debuts.

Urso went 18-of-26 on faceoffs, including a 9-for-10 mark during the game-changing second quarter.

Copeland has three multi-goal games on the season and has points in all four contests. Lewis is the only Viking to score in every game on the year and is also the only player to have multiple points in the first four contests.

Gleeson's two goals were his first of the season while he had a multi-assist outing for the second straight game.

Masi and Gersten posted the first multi-goal games of their careers.

Tommy Joyce and Brandon Ruditz each collected their first point of the season Sunday with a goal while Chase Baker and Bobby Kidd III pulled off the same feat by recording an assist.

Espinoza finished with six saves in three quarters of action. Marshal Amon made three saves of the four shots on goal he saw.

Gage Johnson and Isaac Atencio each posted two caused turnovers with the former adding three ground balls.

Cleveland State will play two games again next weekend as it participates in the Faceoff Classic hosted by Denver. The Vikings will open the event by playing the No. 1 Pioneers Saturday, Feb. 25.