Vikings Drop Non-Conference Finale

Vikings Drop Non-Conference Finale

BALTIMORE, Md. – The Cleveland State University men's soccer team fell at Loyola (Md.), 4-0, in each team's non-conference finale Tuesday evening at Awalt Field at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The setback ended CSU's four-match unbeaten run that dated from the end of September.

After having played 110 minutes this past weekend and with another key Horizon League fixture on the road this Saturday, head coach Kirk Harwat heavily rotated his squad for the match. CSU made eight changes to its starting lineup from last time out, as four of the eight introduced were earning their first or second start of the season.

Starting without the team's top three leaders in points, the Vikings were unable to keep up with the defending Patriot League regular-season champions.

Loyola controlled the early portion of the match and took the lead about 20 minutes into the proceedings. With a Loyola attacker heading away from the goal, a Viking was ruled to have fouled him in the box, and the subsequent penalty kick was converted.

Cleveland State had the ball in the net about 10 minutes later through senior Gianluca DiFranco, but the linesman's flag was raised.

The Greyhounds got an insurance tally in the final two minutes of the half when a long ball sent a lone attacker in on goal.

The Vikings' best portion of the match was likely the half hour following the intermission, but the guests were not able to cut into their deficit.

In the 62nd minute, junior Lawrence Karpeh cut back on the right flank to swing a cross into the area, but classmate Gabriel Pewu's header went wide of the far post.

Only a couple minutes later, freshman Tommy Paltani volleyed a cross into the area that found classmate Jannis Schmidt in a good area, but his shot was blocked before it could reach the keeper.

The guests added two goals in the final 13 minutes, one off a shot taken from a short corner and the other being a cross that was deflected into the net by a CSU defender trying to clear it.

Freshman Ivan Babic made his first collegiate start while redshirt sophomore Skylar Jeppesen made his first start of the season between the posts after being injured for much of the campaign thus far. Jeppesen made seven saves in the match.

Babic is the eighth Viking freshman to start a match this season.

CSU is now 1-1 all-time against Loyola after having beaten the Greyhounds last season. 

Cleveland State will return to Horizon League action at Northern Kentucky this Saturday, Oct. 20, at 4:00 p.m.