Courtesy of Bowling Green Athletic Communications
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Sergio Manesio's goal with 2:20 gone in the second overtime period gave visiting Cleveland State University a 1-0 win over the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team Wednesday night (Oct. 16). The non-conference match was held at Cochrane Field.
With the victory, the Vikings improve to 5-9-0 on the season, while dropping the Falcons to 3-6-4.
Manesio's goal came after a steal by Admir Suljevic in the BGSU end of the field. Suljevic played the ball forward to Manesio, who headed into the penalty area on the right side of the goal and fired a shot on frame. BGSU senior goalkeeper Michael Wiest blocked the hard shot, but the ball trickled over the goal line before a defender could clear it away.
The Falcons had narrow advantages of 13-11 in total shots, 4-2 in shots on goal and 5-3 in corner kicks on the night. Wiest made one save in the match, while CSU 'keeper Austin Saini and his defenders each had two stops. Saini made a save in each half, while the Vikes were credited with one 'team save' in each of the regulation periods as a defender blocked a BG shot on the goal line.
The first real scoring chance for either team came with just over 20 minutes gone. BG junior Danny Baraldi's right-side cross found senior Anthony Grant on the left side of the box. Grant's header back toward the center of the six-yard box was deflected into the air by a CSU player as Saini came off of his line to join the fray. The ball went to sophomore Ryan James approximately eight yards out. James leaped to meet the ball with his head, nodding it over the outstretched arms of Saini. But, a Viking defender, stationed on the line, was able to head the ball out of the goalmouth.
With just over a half hour elapsed, CSU's Suljevic found an open Manesio on the left side. Manesio, who led all players with six shots on the night, hit a hard diagonal ball that was on target, but Wiest made the save.
BGSU nearly benefitted from an own goal with four minutes left in the half. Senior Ryan Snashall hustled to save a ball from going out of bounds just left of the CSU goal. Snashall crossed the ball into the middle, where it deflected off of the leg of the Vikings' Al James and very nearly caromed into the goal. James, however, cleared the ball out of the box before it crossed the line.
In the 59th minute, the Falcons had another grade-A scoring chance. Redshirt freshman Max Auden's right-side cross found the head of Snashall in the center, as Saini again came off of his line. The ball, the Falcon senior, the CSU 'keeper and a Viking defender all converged on the same spot at the same time. Snashall got to the ball a split-second before either of his opponents, and while facing away from goal, headed the ball behind him. The ball went toward the left side of the penalty box, where Baraldi tracked it down. The junior hit a hard shot on target, but a Viking backliner blocked the shot for the visitors' second 'team save' of the evening.
Less than a minute later, Grant fired a turnaround shot from the top of the box, but that effort was blocked by a BG defender.
With under 10 minutes to go in the match, the Falcons teamed up to move the ball deep into the Vikings' end of the field. Grant, James, Baraldi and senior Rodcliff Hall all were involved in the passing sequence, but a pass was blocked out of the box by a defender. The ball went to Silva at the top of the box, and the tri-captain fired a low shot through traffic. Saini, however, was in position to make one of his two stops on the night.
The Falcons threatened twice in the final two minutes of regulation. With 92 seconds to go, Baraldi's through ball just missed connecting with freshman Joe Sullivan as the two attempted to work their way through tight quarters near the 18-yard line. Saini was able to corral the ball before Sullivan could get a shot off.
Then, with just under 30 seconds to go, the home team mounted one last threat. Baraldi, in the middle of the park, played the ball to Auden on his right. Auden's pass back to the left found Grant in space, and as Saini came off his line, Grant put a shot past the charging 'keeper and toward the far post. That shot, however, rolled just wide of the post, and the match headed to extra time.
In the first overtime period, CSU's James Howe had the only two shot attempts, but the first was blocked and the second went wide. The Falcons' best chance came just over a minute into the period, as James, Baraldi and Snashall strung together several passes that resulted in a James through-ball to Grant. Grant hit a one-time that was parried by Saini, but with the ball still loose in the box, the play was whistled down due to an offside call on the Falcons.
Manesio's shot was the only line on the stat sheet in the second overtime period, and gave the Vikings their second-straight win at Cochrane Field. CSU now holds a narrow 15-13-1 lead in the all-time series between the teams, and the visiting team has won each of the last three meetings. CSU captured a 2-1 decision at Cochrane during the 2011 season, while the Falcons were 1-0 winners in Cleveland last fall.
BGSU's three-game non-conference swing continues this weekend, when the Falcons travel to North Carolina to meet Davidson College on Saturday night (Oct. 19). Kickoff for that match is set for 7:00 p.m.