By Jamison Schroeder
The Cleveland State University lacrosse season is underway as the team started the season off with a home game against Marquette University. This marked the start of the fourth season of the program and was a matchup involving two first-year head coaches for both teams. Cleveland State head coach Andy German made his collegiate head coaching debut with the Vikings.
Both sides started the scoring early as the first possessions for both teams ended with a goal. Junior Tristan Hanna led the team with three goals, with two of those coming with less than two minutes left in regulation. Hanna’s final two goals were able to tie the game up and force overtime. Other notables for the game included three points from both senior Noah Gleeson and sophomore Gabe Reno. This was Gleeson’s first three-point game since his freshman year. Reno had three assists in the game which tied him for his entire total during his freshman season.
During the second quarter, the Vikings ran up the score with a 4-0 run, putting them up 6-3 at halftime. Marquette responded with a three-goal third quarter, making the game 7-6 going into the fourth. Despite tying the game up twice late in the fourth, the late-game efforts were for naught, the Vikings fell 11-10. Despite the loss, German was very excited with how the team played.
“The lead up was a little more hectic, but once it started, it became a moment I’ll remember forever,” German said.
The Vikings began a string of four away games with their road opener in Michigan, taking on the Michigan Wolverines. The Vikings fought through a tough game, falling 16-9. Despite the loss, German saw a lot of positives from the game
“We did a lot of things well,” German said. “We weren’t bad in the first two games. We just need to clean some stuff up. It is a great learning experience for these players going up against a team like Michigan.”
Junior Michael Wilson continued his points scoring ways, getting two more points moving him closer to the 100 career point, which would make him the first in Vikings lacrosse history. Coach German sees Wilson as an electric player to watch and has evolved into a leader from his first year on the team.
“It’s great knowing we can trust getting the ball to him, and he takes on a huge leadership role,” German said. “He isn’t the most talkative but when he does, everyone listens. He sees the game in a different way.”
Hanna recorded another hat trick against the Wolverines, marking the second straight game to have accomplished this feat, which gave him 10 for his career. Sophomore Gareth Haigh recorded 10 saves, and Gleeson scored a goal for the third straight game in a streak that dates back to last season. Freshmen Connor Zwagerman and Brendan Sigurdson made their collegiate debuts, with Zwagerman recording one assist. The Vikings then hit the road for their first of three straight nationally-ranked opponents. First up was the University of Notre Dame. The team was unable to pull the upset as the Vikings fell to Notre Dame 17-7.
While it’s been a tough start to his head coaching career, German remains positive about his team and the players’ abilities.
“You can look at the losses and say we aren’t doing great, but there is a lot that’s looking good,” German said. “We aren’t far off, just a couple shots here and there haven’t gone our way.”
The team is back in action Feb. 22 and 23, when they participate in the Face-Off Classic against 17th-ranked Air Force University and eighth-ranked University of Denver. After the long road trip, the Vikings return home to take on Bellarmine University on March 6.