THE OPENING KICK
Cleveland State continues a three-match road swing while beginning a stretch of three consecutive non-conference matches.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Cincinnati enters with a 3-6-1 overall mark, but the Bearcats have earned results in three of their past four matches—a 4-3 overtime win at Bowling Green, a 5-0 win over Purdue Fort Wayne and a 1-1 draw at Temple this past Saturday. UC's other win this season came in a 2-1 decision over Albany. The Bearcats are among the top 20 in Division I in shots, averaging over 15 per match. Junior Darryn Commissiong leads the team in goals (5) and points (12) while classmate Creggton Charlton owns four goals and nine points. Junior Noah Lawrence has started nine of 10 matches in net.
AGAINST THIS OPPONENT
Cleveland State is 7-9-1 all-time against Cincinnati. This will be the eighth consecutive season the programs have met after they played just once from 2004-2011. During this recent stretch, the Bearcats own a 5-1-1 record in the series with the winning team scoring multiple goals in each of the past five meetings. The only tie in the series to date was a scoreless 2012 affair in Cincinnati. Lawrence Karpeh is the only active Viking with a point against UC, tallying an assist in the 2017 meeting. CSU has not come away victorious on the road against Cincinnati since 1993.
LAST TIME OUT
Cleveland State dropped a 1-0 decision this past Saturday evening at Green Bay, playing in a wind-driven rain. CSU had advantages in shots (13-9) and corner kicks (5-2) in the contest.
Cleveland State has not allowed more than one goal in six straight matches. That is the Vikings' longest such stretch since a nine-match span covering the 2015-16 seasons. As a result, the Vikings lead the Horizon League with their 0.82 goals against average as CSU is the only team in the league that has a mark below 1.00. Cincinnati, who has scored four or more goals twice in its past four matches, will try its hand at ending CSU's streak.
WORKING (AND WINNING IN) OVERTIME
Cleveland State posted a 2-1 victory over Northern Kentucky in overtime Sept. 21. The Vikings' most recent overtime victory had come in the 2015 Horizon League Tournament. It marked CSU's first win in extra time in its past 57 matches and its first win in its past 13 overtime matches.
Twenty of the 21 outfield Vikings have played this season. Seven Vikings have made their NCAA soccer debut this season, six outfield players and goaltender Omeed Naeemy. Naeemy and transfer Andrew Nicholas are the two debutants to start a match thus far this season.
ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL:
Trailing 2-0 with under 20 minutes to play in the season opener at Louisville, Cleveland State rallied to earn a result. It was the first time in CSU's last 50 matches that it had rallied from a multi-goal deficit to earn a result. The most recent such occurrence had come at Robert Morris in August 2016. CSU has now come from behind to earn a result at least once in 14 consecutive seasons and has achieved the feat on the road in nine straight seasons.
ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL, PART II
Trailing 1-0 with under five minutes to play in the HL home opener, Cleveland State rallied to claim the win. The Vikings tied the match in the 86th minute before winning it in the 100th minute on a Gabriel Pewu strike. It was the second time this season the Vikings scored two goals in under 15 minutes to turn a deficit into a result.
ALRIGHT AGAINST ACC:
In earning a 2-2 tie against Louisville to open its season, Cleveland State secured a result against an ACC side for the fourth year in the last five seasons. The Vikings took down a pair of Power Five sides last season, notching wins over Ohio State and Pittsburgh.
LEADING THE CHARGE:
Cleveland State is under the direction of first-year head coach Sinisa Ubiparipovic in 2019. Ubiparipovic, who attended high school and college in Northeast Ohio, was elevated after previously serving as the program's top assistant. He appeared in over 200 professional soccer matches, including an even 100 in the Major League Soccer (MLS) ranks with New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.
- Cleveland State has won its first three home matches for the first time since 2010
- CSU has outscored its opposition 7-1 at home this season
- Eight Vikings have started all seven matches this season
- Gabriel Pewu leads the team with three goals
- Lawrence Karpeh has two goals this season, with both coming at home
- Jannis Schmidt totaled a goal and two assists in the first two matches of the season
- CSU's win over Northern Kentucky was its first in the five all-time meetings between the teams
- CSU has now scored three goals after the 85th minute in the last two meetings with NKU
- Thomas M'Barek's goal vs. Robert Morris was the first of his collegiate career
- Omeed Naeemy notched his first shutout as a collegian vs. Robert Morris
- Omeed Naeemy was named HL Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 30
- Jannis Schmidt was named HL Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 3
- Forty seven of Cleveland State's last 70 goals have come in the second half. In fact, 18 of those goals have taken place in the 77th minute or later
- The last seven Cleveland State head coaches combined to post a 5-0-2 record in their first game as the Vikings' head coach
PRESEASON FREE KICKS:
- Vlad Jandric and Thomas M'Barek were both selected All-Horizon League Second Team in 2018
- It was the second straight season that Jandric earned all-conference honors
- Cleveland State returns 17 student-athletes from last year's roster, 16 of which competed in a match
- Six Vikings return that started at least 10 matches last season, with five of those six competing in at least 14 of the squad's 15 fixtures in 2018
- CSU has eight newcomers on the roster, four true freshmen and four transfers
- Thomas M'Barek was the only Viking to start all 15 matches last season
- Gabriel Pewu and Jannis Schmidt were the other returning Vikings to play in all 15 fixtures in 2018
- Cleveland State is facing at least one Big Ten opponent for the third straight year and an ACC foe for the fifth time in six seasons
- The Vikings will face four of the top 40 programs from last season's final RPI, including two of the top five
- Cleveland State has earned a top-four seed in the HL Tournament seven times since the league went to a six-team format, which is the highest such figure among its league peers
- Cleveland State won consecutive matches at Ohio State and at Pittsburgh last season, the first time since 1984 the Vikings won back-to-back matches against teams currently in a Power Five conference
- Cleveland State's win at Ohio State last season was its first victory over the Buckeyes since 1996 (though the sides have not played every year since then)
- With a 2-0 win at Ohio State last year, Cleveland State has now shut out a Power Five side in three of the past four seasons and six of the past nine
- The Vikings twice rallied from deficits to claim a 4-3 win at Pitt, scoring the winning goal with under six minutes remaining
- Gabriel Pewu had six goals and an assist in the final 11 matches last season
- Vlad Jandric had a hat trick in last year's 3-1 win over UIC, the first by a Viking since 2013
- The Vikings were only outshot once in Horizon League play last season
- Among the 75 starts made by Vikings on defense or in goal last season: 31 starts were made by true freshman or redshirt freshman, 40 starts were made by sophomores with two starts by a junior and two by a senior
- Ryan Kolonick led all CSU freshmen with 11 starting assignments last season
- Thomas M'Barek was named Academic All-Horizon League in 2018
- Noah Pio has joined the Viking coaching staff as a student assistant after playing for CSU the past three seasons