THE OPENING KICK
Cleveland State will play at home for the first time this month as it ends a stretch of three consecutive non-conference fixtures.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Duquesne enters with an 8-3-1 overall record on the campaign after winning at home this past Saturday. The Dukes were unbeaten in their first seven matches, racking up a six-match winning streak, as they allowed just four goals in those seven games. However, the Dukes then lost three consecutive matches, all on the road and all by 2-1 scorelines. Duquesne has responded with a pair of shutout victories the last two weekends to right the ship. After netting 11 points in his freshman season, sophomore Manel Busquets has six goals and four assists this season. Nate Dragisich leads the team with five assists while Robbie McKelvey has played every minute in goal and has an .841 save percentage. The Dukes have doubled their win total from last year and have matched their highest win total in the past five seasons.
AGAINST THIS OPPONENT
Cleveland State is 4-5-1 all-time against Duquesne in a series that dates back to 1999. The squads met last season in Pittsburgh, but the game was declared a No Contest after it was abandoned at halftime due to persistent lightning in the area. The match was scoreless at the time it was called. Cleveland State is 3-1-0 in meetings within the past decade, but it was the Dukes who claimed a 1-0 win in overtime in the last meeting that reached a conclusion in 2016. The sides have split the previous five meetings in Ohio, with each winning twice since a tie in the first-ever meeting.
LAST TIME OUT
Cleveland State claimed a 3-2 win at Ohio State this past weekend as Gabriel Pewu had a brace and Lawrence Karpeh also scored. CSU went up 2-0 only to see the Buckeyes find the equalizers in a span of fewer than 30 seconds, neither of which came from the run of play. However, Pewu broke the deadlock with his winning strike.
GOALS FOR GABRIEL
Senior Gabriel Pewu tallied two goals and an assist in the team's 3-2 win at Ohio State. He headed home a goal for the second straight match after also doing so at Cincinnati. His team-leading six goals have tied his career high with six regular-season matches remaining. Pewu is second in the Horizon League in goals per game.
POWERING PAST POWER FIVE
With its win last time out at Ohio State, the Vikings claimed their second result this season against a Power Five opponent. In fact, Cleveland State is now 3-0-1 in its past four matches against Power Five foes, all of which have come on the road. The Vikings have scored 11 total goals in these matches and came back from deficits in two of the matches to earn a result.
OH SO CLOSE
In all four of Cleveland State's losses this season, the Vikings came up one goal short. Only once in CSU's nine matches this season has a team won a match by more than one goal.
Despite allowing five goals in its two matches last week, Cleveland State has allowed no more than one goal in six matches this season. The Vikings still rank second in the Horizon League in goals allowed per game (1.22) and goals against average (1.18).
Senior Lawrence Karpeh sits second on the team in goals (3) and points (7). Karpeh has a point in three of the past four matches, including each of the past two. His goal at Ohio State last time out was the first goal he scored via a header since his rookie season. It was also the second straight season that he scored against the Buckeyes.
WORKING (AND WINNING IN) OVERTIME
Cleveland State posted a 2-1 victory over Northern Kentucky in overtime Sept. 21. The Vikings' most recent previous overtime victory had come in the 2015 Horizon League Tournament. At the time, 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, freshman Pablo Kawecki and transfer Andrew Nicholas are the three 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 Pittsburgh on the road last season, 4-3.
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 at Ohio State in each of the past two seasons
- Pablo Kawecki scored his first collegiate goal at Cincinnati after coming on as a substitute
- Kawecki made his first collegiate start last time out at Ohio State
- Thomas Bielanski's assist last time out was his first point of the season
- CSU has erased a deficit with back-to-back goals within 15 minutes of each other in three matches this season
- 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
- Seven Vikings have started all nine matches this season
- 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
- Andrew Nicholas' assist vs. Robert Morris was his first as a collegian
- 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
- Fifty one of Cleveland State's last 75 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