Cleveland State Forced to Settle for Tie Against Norse

Cleveland State Forced to Settle for Tie Against Norse

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University men's soccer team had the vast majority of offensive opportunities Saturday evening, but visiting Northern Kentucky was able to keep the game scoreless through 110 minutes to earn a tie on a gorgeous evening at Krenzler Field.

In a matchup of teams that each won their Horizon League opener last weekend, CSU had large statistical advantages in both shots (22-5) and corner kicks (9-2). However, the Vikings were unable to convert and had to settle for a draw in earning their first shutout of the season.

Junior Noah Pio led CSU with seven shots while sophomore Sebastian Kalk claimed the clean sheet in net.

Cleveland State had the vast majority of possession in the first half and began to earn chances as the half wore on. NKU's only shot of the first half sailed well high in the 21st minute.

In the final 14 minutes of the first half, CSU outshot the guests, 6-0. In the 32nd minute, senior captain Hesham Hammouda played a long ball over the top that Pio ran on to. Pio cut back inside and took a curling, left-footed effort that wasn't that wide of the far post. Fewer than two minutes later, Hammouda played a cross in from the right flank, after getting the ball on a short corner, and sophomore Vlad Jandric sent a header toward goal that the keeper had to leap to tip over the bar.

Northern Kentucky had a few more chances in the second stanza, but CSU still had more looks at goal than the guests. NKU had one of its best chances in the 55th minute after it forced a turnover by the CSU back line, but the subsequent shot was wide of the mark.

In the 74th minute, CSU broke out on a counter and was able to get the ball centrally to Hammouda. However, his shot from near the top of the box sailed high.

NKU looked to hit on the counter in the 80th minute, but Kalk was able to get down and stop a low shot from his left from inside the 18-yard box.

CSU had a couple of crosses from the left flank in the first overtime, but the keeper grabbed one and the defense was able to clear the other. The best chance of the first extra session was a free kick for the Norse in which Kalk was forced to make a diving save to his left to block a high attempt that was headed for the corner.

In the final period, Cleveland State had a couple of chances to win it with shots from well inside the box, but one was blocked away and another was stopped by the keeper.

Cleveland State's 22 shots was its second-highest such figure in the past five seasons.

The Vikings made two changes to their starting XI from their midweek matchup with Xavier with junior Gianluca DiFranco and sophomore Lawrence Karpeh back in for the hosts. Kalk's shutout was the fifth of his career.

Cleveland State will hit the road for the final time this month next weekend as it takes on preseason favorite Oakland Saturday, Sept. 23.