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Clayton St. soccer players honored

From Staff Reports

The Clayton College & State University women's soccer team is coming off its best season in school history, and a trio of players from the squad have been recognized for their superb play.

Clayton State's Nkiru Okosieme, Olaitan Yusuf and Judith Chime were all named to the first-team 2004 National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Southeast Region squad, marking the first time the Lakers have had more than one player receive the honor in a season.

With all three players being named to the first team, they become eligible for All-America honors to be released later in the year.

The Clayton State trio led the Lakers to a school best 13-6-1 record, the program's first appearance in the NCAA Division II National Soccer Championships and to a runner-up finish in the 2004 Peach Belt Conference Tournament. In addition, Okosieme was named the league's Player of the Year, the first time a Clayton State women's soccer player has received the award, while Yusuf was named the Freshman of the Year, also a first for the program.

Chime was named to the All-Conference team for the third straight season from her keeper position.

Okosieme, a senior from Onitsha, Nigeria, is the all-time leading scorer in the Peach Belt Conference with 64 goals in three seasons of play.

She is a three-time NCAA All-Southeast Region performer, a three-time All-PBC player and a three-time All-PBC Tournament player.

Nkiru finished the season ranked among the nation's leaders in points per game and in goals scored with 17 goals and 10 assists on the season.

The nation's second leading scorer in 2001, she set a PBC single season record with 33 goals, which was later broken this year by teammate Yusuf. Okosieme received the 2002 Lady Laker Award given to top female athlete in Clayton State program based on athletic and academic achievement.

A two-time Peach Belt Presidential Honor Roll recipient, she had 22 multi-goal games out of 55 games in her career.

She played in the 2003 World Cup for her native land of Nigeria, her fourth World Cup competition.

Yusuf, a freshman from Ilborin, Nigeria, led the nation in scoring with 35 goals on the season, breaking the PBC single season record. She also led the country in points per game at 3.70 per contest.

She had multiple goals in 11 matches this season, including a school record five goals against the University of South Carolina Aiken. She was named PBC Player of the Week twice this season.

Chime, from Enugu, Nigeria, was named to the All-Region team for the first time and is Clayton State's all-time leader in goals against average. She set the single season goals against average in 2002 at .64, which ranked 15th in the nation and was third in the country in saves in 2003.

Chime had a 1.28 goals against average in over 1752 minutes this season.