Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cleveland State upsets No. 1 Akron

The Cleveland State Vikings defeated the top-ranked team in the country, Akron, 2-1, on Saturday at Krenzler Field.

Jordan Hart notched the game winner with just seven minutes to go in the game.

"This is a historic night for our program," head coach Ali Kazemaini said. "The win shows that the team has perseverance, having faith, and that we are humble. This is for Cleveland and hopefully this can make some noise about Cleveland and our program.

"I told the guys before the game to go out there and have fun and don’t regret afterwards. I told them to play their hearts out. I think we were able to make them off balance them was a combination of pressing them in their own end."

The Vikings improve to 8-9 on the year. The loss is the first for the Zips on the year and is now 14-1-1.

As much excitement there was leading up to the matchup of Northeast Ohio, both teams concluded the first half with a scoreless draw. Aslinn Rodas had the only Cleveland State shot on goal and the Viking defense held the high-powered Zips to just three shots on goal, none of which troubled Vikings goalkeeper Brad Stuver.
The Vikings took the lead just 12 minutes from time. At the 11:31 mark, Caleb Eastham crossed the ball into the middle of the box. Rodas flew into the box and buried the ball with his right foot into the back of the net.

"I thought when we scored, although we gave up the goal, we knew that we have gotten under their skin," Kazemaini said.

The top ranked team in the country was able to get the equalizer just minutes later. With 8:51 left in the second half, Akron’s John Gulden was taken down in the box just as he got into it and was awarded the penalty.

Michael Nanchoff took the penalty and beat goalkeeper Stuver into the bottom right hand corner. Stuver guessed correctly, dove to his left, but was unable to get the well-struck penalty.

"Even though they scored, we wanted to get the next goal because we knew that the game was going to be over with the next goal with such little time left," Kazemaini said.

The Vikings too the lead and got the eventual game winner from Hart. Hart’s first goal of the year came when he gathered the ball from the cross and put the winner in the back of the net with just 6:49 left in the match.

"It started just like any other play," Hart said. "I had so many things running through my head. I tried to just place the ball and I did not try to do anything special with it. I did not know what to do; I was in so much shock."

Akron pushed the equalizer, but was unable to find it. After the final whistle blew, Krenzler Field and the Viking bench erupted with emotion.

"The emotion was crazy," Kazemaini said. "I have not cried at a soccer game since I played professionally."
courtesty of Cleveland State Vikings athletic website

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home