- Cleveland State used two second-half goals to claim a 2-0 win at IUPUI
- Gabriel Pewu and Thomas Bielanski had the goals while Ryan Kolonick notched an assist
- Pewu's goal was his seventh this season, a new career high
- Bielanski's goal and Kolonick's assist were both their first of the season
- Cleveland State has won three straight matches, tallying shutouts in the past two
- The Vikings are now 3-2-0 in Horizon League play this season
- CSU's 22 shots were its highest figure in a regulation match since 2016
- Saturday marked the first match in the CSU-IUPUI series decided by more than one goal
The Cleveland State University men's soccer team secured its third win in under a week as it used two goals in the final 25 minutes to claim a 2-0 win at IUPUI in Horizon League action Saturday afternoon at Michael A. Carroll Stadium.
The Vikings' goals came from the most likely source and a rather unlikely one as senior Gabriel Pewu remained in form, netting his team-leading seventh, while holding midfielder Thomas Bielanski netted his first of the campaign. Pewu, who has four goals in his last three starts, reset his career high with his seventh strike.
For a second straight match, Cleveland State kept a clean sheet, its fourth overall of the campaign. Freshmen Omeed Naeemy teamed with a back four of Ryan Kolonick, Thomas M'Barek, Saahb Kular and Hayden Parente to keep the host Jaguars off the scoreboard.
Cleveland State made four changes to its starting XI from its midweek, non-conference fixture as Bielanski, Kular, sophomore Jannis Schmidt and Pewu all returned to the side.
The Vikings nearly opened the scoring inside of 10 minutes when freshman Pablo Kawecki ringed a header from about 12 yards off the crossbar. Parente had played a right-wing cross from near the end line after Bielanski had played the ball into space down the flank.
IUPUI's best chance of the first half came fewer than 10 minutes later as a shot from about 18 yards was deflected into the path of a Jaguar near the penalty spot. However, as Kular closed down on the attacker, the shot was pushed wide.
CSU would have the remainder of the close calls in the first half. Bielanski had a shot blocked by a Jags defender in the 23rd minute that might have been goalbound while his tight-angle effort in the 32nd minute was held by the keeper. Schmidt and Pewu had shots go slightly wide of the post in the final 15 minutes of the half.
After CSU hit the woodwork in the first half, it was IUPUI's turn within the opening 10 minutes of the second half. A blast from near the top of the box nailed the post but redirected straight back into the field of play before CSU cleared.
Pewu would give the Vikings the lead with about 25 minutes to play in the match. Kolonick did well to win the ball approaching the final third before driving into the left side of the box. He cut back and delivered a low cross that went toward the penalty spot. Bielanski was in the vicinity, but it was Pewu who pounced on the loose ball and slotted it home.
IUPUI's best look at an equalizer came in the 79th minute off a long free kick. A Jaguar player won a clean header inside of 10 yards, but Naeemy was well-positioned and held the shot.
With IUPUI starting to take more of the ball searching for a tying goal, the Vikings would put the game out of reach about five minutes from full time. Redshirt sophomore Andrew Nicholas drew a free kick as he was fouled while attempting to shoot.
Bielanski took the subsequent free kick from about 25 yards and ripped a shot into the upper left, near-side corner, effectively putting the game to bed.
CSU had a 22-11 advantage in shots, its largest advantage of the season and produced its highest shot figure in a 90-minute match in over three years. After not allowing a shot on goal last time out, the Vikings only yielded two to the Jaguars.
Pewu scored for the second straight season against IUPUI while Bielanski's goal was his first in over two years.
The win leapfrogs the Vikings above the Jaguars and into third place in the league table with three HL matches remaining.
CSU will continue Horizon League action next Saturday, Oct. 26, as it hosts Wright State.