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Vikings Drop 1-0 Contest in Season Finale

Vikings Drop 1-0 Contest in Season Finale


  • Cleveland State dropped its season finale, 1-0, against Detroit Mercy
  • The Vikings had a 21-10 lead in shots in the contest
  • CSU honored its five-member senior class prior to the match
  • Lawrence Karpeh, Ryan Kolonick and Omeed Naeemy started all 15 matches this season 


The Cleveland State University men's soccer team dominated possession but was unable to find anything to show for it as the Vikings dropped their season finale, 1-0, to Detroit Mercy at a cold and clear Krenzler Field Friday evening. 

CSU held a 21-10 advantage in shots for the match and also had a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.

The Vikings had two changes to the side from last weekend's road finale at UIC as senior Hayden Parente was reinserted into the lineup at right back, after missing the last match due to injury, while sophomore Tommy Paltani started in the midfield.

Cleveland State had the ball for vast stretches of the match but were unable to find the right ball in the final third.

In the third minute, redshirt sophomore Andrew Nicholas used some nifty footwork to elude defenders before sending a lofted service toward the far post. Parente got his head to it but was unable to direct it on target from a tight angle.

The Vikings had their best chance of the half, and perhaps the match, in the 28th minute as a trio of shots were hit in quick succession. Nicholas took an effort that was saved before senior Gabriel Pewu had his try blocked away. Nicholas then got on the ball again and flicked a shot past the goalkeeper, but it hit the far post and redirected back into the field of play.

Detroit's only real chance on the first half came via a set piece in the 38th minute. The Titans sent in a dangerous inswinging service and, after it bounced around a bit, a hard centering pass was played, but the Titans' effort from close range was hit over the bar.

Detroit also came close to taking the lead via a set piece near the hour mark as it won a header off a corner kick, but freshman Omeed Naeemy was well-positioned to make the stop.

Redshirt freshman center back Saahb Kular made a marauding run forward in the 64th minute, dribbling past multiple Titans. He got well into the box before his tight-angle effort was palmed over the bar by the keeper.

In the 74th minute, sophomore Jannis Schmidt dribbled into the box before sending a ball centrally to senior Lawrence Karpeh. Karpeh tapped it back to Pewu near the top of the box, but he pulled his effort wide.

Detroit scored the only goal of the match in the 77th minute. The Titans booted a CSU clearance back toward the final third and then won a header. Detroit sent a low through ball forward that found a Titan in space near the top of the box. After taking a few touches, he found the goal with a high effort into the right side.

CSU's best chance at an equalizer came in the 86th minute as Karpeh was able to find space and blast from distance. His effort froze the keeper in his tracks but just went over the bar.

The Vikings had a last-gasp effort go wide in the 89th minute as a long ball played forward was flicked onward with a header by sophomore Zack Kluever. Nicholas tried to volley the ball in while running into the box but was unable to direct it on target.

Cleveland State honored its five-member senior class—Thomas Bielanski, Vlad Jandric, Karpeh, Parente and Pewu—prior to the match.

Karpeh, Kolonick and Naeemy were the three Vikings to start all 15 matches this season. Pewu also played in all 15 during the campaign.

Pewu led the Vikings with nine goals and 19 points while Nicholas topped CSU with three assists. Naeemy played every minute in goal in his rookie season and finished with a 1.10 goals against average and a .787 save percentage.