CLEVELAND, Ohio – The 2018 Cleveland State University women's soccer team continued to make their mark on school history and blaze new trails for the program as the Vikings claimed a 1-0 win over Wright State in Horizon League action Sunday afternoon at a cloudy and cold Krenzler Field.
CSU's 10th win of the season not only tied the single-season program record with one regular-season match to spare but also clinched the team's best-ever finish in the Horizon League table. The Vikings' win moved them into sole possession of second place with 19 points, also a new program record, and guaranteed that the squad will at worst tie for second place at the end of the regular season.
Cleveland State dominated statistically Sunday, taking 15 shots to just three for the visitors. The Vikings also had a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks. Senior Sarah Krause scored the lone goal of the match with an assist from classmate Dani Sowinski.
Head coach Dallas Boyer put forth the same starting XI for the third time running, and the side did well in bouncing back from a disappointing midweek setback.
Wright State took two shots in the opening eight minutes, one a speculative effort that went well wide and another that was a comfortable save for sophomore Stevie Holbrook.
That saved shot would be the final one for the Raiders for over 78 minutes as Cleveland State took the next 15 shots of the match.
In the ninth minute, Sowinski drove diagonally at the box and then slipped in freshman Ja'Maya Ward on the right wing. Ward's tight angle shot to the near post was held nicely by the keeper.
Neither team produced significant chances near the end of the first half, but CSU changed that as the second half began.
Cleveland State took three shots in the opening 11 minutes after the intermission, including a couple close calls from Krause. In the 56th minute, she received a short corner, split two defenders and headed into the box where her hard shot was saved.
Cleveland State, and Krause, would break through just after 65 minutes were gone. Sowinski took the ball on the right flank and got space from her defender as she put an end-line cross in front of goal. Krause got a boot to the ball at the back post, and the ball made its way through bodies and over the line as it headed into the far, right-side netting.
The Vikings took five corner kicks in a five-minute span with about a quarter hour left but were unable to add on.
That proved large as Wright State really put the pressure in the final 10 minutes. After getting the ball into the box a couple of times, the Raiders got a golden chance to equalize when they were given a penalty kick with just over four minutes left.
However, the spot kick was sent wide of the left post, giving the Vikings an escape. That proved to be the final real chance of the match for Wright State as Holbrook and company saw out the remaining minutes.
Cleveland State has now shut out four League opponents and has six overall on the season. On the other end of the spectrum, the Vikings tied the single-season record for goals (28) with Krause's strike.
Sowinski extended her single-season school record for assists (9) and moved into a tie for the League lead. Krause, who edged into a tie for fourth in CSU single-season points, is now second in the League with 16.
The Vikings will conclude the regular season Friday, Oct. 26, at regular-season champion Milwaukee.