Second Quarter Dooms Vikings at SHU

Second Quarter Dooms Vikings at SHU

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Cleveland State University University lacrosse team was tied with Sacred Heart at the midpoint of the second quarter, but the host Pioneers had a lethal offensive stretch over the remainder of the first half to help lift themselves to an 18-9 victory at a wet Campus Field Saturday afternoon.

With the win, Sacred Heart now has its highest season win total in over a decade.

Caleb Espinoza once again performed admirably in the cage for CSU while being bombarded with shots. He posted 18 saves, his ninth straight game with a double-figure total. He now has made at least 16 saves in four games this year, including three of the past four contests.

Stephen Masi had the brightest offensive game of his young career, as he posted four goals. His first career hat trick doubled as his third multi-goal game of the season.

Danny Tesler won 13 of the 26 faceoffs he took on the day. He contributed eight ground balls, pushing his team-leading total to 57.

Cleveland State opened the game's scoring after causing a turnover in its defensive box. Espinoza picked up the ground ball and found defender Isaac Atencio streaking up field on the clear. Atencio not only cleared the ball, but he kept going straight to the cage and fired home to net his first collegiate point.

The Pioneers won the ensuing faceoff and promptly scored on their next possession to tie the game. That would be the final goal CSU allowed of the first quarter, as the Vikings held Sacred Heart to one goal on 10 first-quarter possessions.

Masi got his first goal near the midpoint of the first quarter on a high bullet from the goalie's right.

Sacred Heart scored in the first minute of the second quarter, but Masi answered about three minutes later when he beat a defender to get a better shooting angle and then fired home. CSU's final goal of the half came when Nick Wendel found Tristen Copeland unguarded on the crease.

The Pioneers owned the closing stages of the second quarter, which allowed them to take a five-goal advantage into the half.

Sacred Heart outscored Cleveland State, 4-2, in the third quarter with Jack Frickleton scoring both Viking goals. The first came when Tommy Joyce found Frickleton alone in front. The Washington native then used a ball screen to create some shooting space as he cut toward the middle of the field and fired home.

The Pioneers scored the first three goals of the final quarter to all but put the game away.

Masi netted his first collegiate hat trick when Copeland, operating behind the net, found him open on the crease. Masi's shot beat the goalie to the near post.

Noah Gleeson and Masi closed the scoring for the Vikings. Gleeson beat his man to the right and fired a shot that nailed the post and crossed the line. Masi then beat his man from below goal line extended, sprinted to near the top of the cage and shot high to beat the netminder.

Copeland, who contributed his sixth multi-point game, moved his team-leading assist and point totals to 14 and 28. Frickleton's fourth multi-goal outing doubled as his seventh multi-point effort.

Wendel's assist extended his point streak to seven games, the longest active streak by a Viking.

Cleveland State will conclude its inaugural season by hosting Detroit Mercy next Saturday, April 29, at 7:00 p.m.