CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland State (3-2, 1-0) picked up the programs first-ever ASUN victory on Saturday afternoon against Lindenwood (1-3, 0-1), 14-12. The contest was the ASUN opener and also Alumni Day for the Green and White.
The Vikings claimed the first lead of the day at the 13:35 mark on a Joe DeDonatis unassisted goal. Less than a minute later, Ryan Haigh became the Vikings all-time leading scorer with his 58th career goal, surpassing current graduate assistant coach, Tristan Hanna.
Lindenwood converted a man-up goal with 9:10 remaining to make it a one-goal game. Cleveland State got the goal back with 7:53 showing as Lane Miller scored off a pass from Karson Burkey to go up 3-1.
The Lions cut the margin to one again with 7:40 to go behind an unassisted goal. However, 35 seconds later, Xander Johnson bagged his first of the day as the Green and White led 4-2 at the end of the opening quarter.
Cleveland State tallied the first two goals of the second quarter with Brendan Sigurdson and Johnson each scoring to make it 6-2 with 9:32 remaining in the first half. Lindenwood responded with two unanswered tallies, trimming their deficit to 6-4 with 4:34 left.
Gannon Matthews got a goal back with 3:27 showing to make it 7-4. Just 34 seconds later, Alex Van Voorhis notched his first collegiate goal as the margin moved to 8-4.
With time winding down in the half, Johnson scored with four seconds remaining off a pass from Sigurdson as Cleveland State led 9-4 at halftime.
Johnson completed his second straight hat-trick just a little over a minute into the new half off a feed from Matthews. Charlie Williams won the ensuing faceoff, drove right to the goal, and scored, increasing the advantage to 11-4 with 13:35 to play in the quarter.
Connor Zwagerman capped off the six unanswered goals for the Green and White with his first of the year off a pass from Amiri Austin to lead 12-4 with 8:44 showing. Lindenwood closed the quarter with two straight goals to trail 12-6 with one frame remaining in regulation.
The Lions notched the first goal of the final quarter with 12:36 showing as the margin stood at 12-7. Cleveland State made it a four-goal game as Sigurdson found the back of the net off a pass from R. Haigh at the 10:57 mark.
Lindenwood then scored the next three goals to get within 13-10 with 7:19 to play in the quarter. An unassisted goal by Austin at the 6:39 mark briefly halted the run as the Green and White led 14-10 with 6:39 showing.
The Lions found the back of the net with 1:34 remaining and 28 seconds left to trail 14-12, but the Vikings fended off the charge to win their first-ever ASUN game, 14-12.
Cleveland State scooped up 46 ground balls on the afternoon, with Robbie Brazanskas and Cameron Logan each having five. Brazanskas also had a game-best four caused turnovers.
Williams went 10-of-18 in the faceoff circle to lead the way for the Vikings.
Logan finished with 18 saves in the game and now trails Caleb Espinoza's career saves record of 239 by just 11.
Johnson led the attack with four goals, while Sigurdson had two goals and two assists.
Cleveland State heads to Robert Morris on Saturday, March 25 for a 1 p.m. conference game. The contest will also give the Vikings a chance to play on the same field as the 2023 ASUN tournament.