Vikings Drop League Opener on Road, 1-0

Vikings Drop League Opener on Road, 1-0


  • Cleveland State dropped its Horizon League opener, 1-0, at Oakland
  • The setback was the first of the season for CSU
  • The Golden Grizzlies scored the lone tally in the 81st minute
  • Zack Kluever and Tommy Paltani made their first starts of the season
  • Each team had two shots on goal


After scoring four goals in its home opener 10 days ago, the Cleveland State University men's soccer team was unable to produce a similar offensive output after a long layoff as the Vikings dropped their Horizon League opener at Oakland, 1-0, Saturday evening at Oakland Soccer Field.

CSU had scored six goals in 180 regulation minutes entering the match but was unable to find the net Saturday after its longest in-season layoff since 2014.

Cleveland State was forced to make two changes to the starting XI from its last match as junior Zack Kluever and sophomore Tommy Paltani replaced the ailing Andrew Nicholas and Jannis Schmidt.

Neither team was able to generate a significant amount of quality chances on the evening. Both sides had just two shots on goal. Oakland was whistled for 25 fouls, 10 more than the Vikings, but CSU was unable to take advantage of this discrepancy.

Oakland's best scoring chances in the opening half came through the corner kick, as the Grizzlies had five looks from the corner flag, one of which was headed a little bit over the bar off the service.

In the seventh minute, senior Gabriel Pewu intercepted a long ball by the goalkeeper and attempted a long effort in an attempt to catch the keeper out of position, but his effort was high. In the 34th minute, Pewu got his head to a free kick from classmate Thomas Bielanski, but he was unable to direct it on frame.

Neither side had many notable chances in the opening half hour of the second stanza, but it was Cleveland State that looked the closest to scoring as the match wore on.

Within a span of three or four minutes, senior Lawrence Karpeh sent a trio of crosses into the box, but the Vikings could not convert.

However, Oakland would score the lone goal in the 81st minute. Winning the ball near midfield, the Grizzlies played the ball to the right flank before a low cross was sent through the box. The ball found its way all the way to the other side of the box, where an Oakland attacker blasted a clean look into the side netting of the far post.

Karpeh had a pair of shots that caused momentary concern for Oakland in the final eight minutes—a low turnaround effort from inside the box that forced a lunging save from the keeper and a long-range low effort guided wide of the near post.

CSU is now 8-8 all-time against Oakland.

The Vikings will have a short turnaround as they will be back in action Tuesday at nationally ranked Bowling Green.