Clayton State blanks Pembroke in first round of PBC tournament

From staff reports

MORROW ? Clayton College & State University freshman sensation Olaitan Yusuf, the nation's leading scorer, added to her total Wednesday with a three goals to lead the Laker women to a 4-0 victory over the University of North Carolina Pembroke in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.

Clayton State raced out to an early lead, as Yusuf scored eight minutes into the match on an unassisted play. She carried the ball 30 yards, beating several defenders and the keeper with a shot in the lower left of the net.

Senior Nkiru Okosieme gave the Lakers a 2-0 lead in the 25th minute, heading a shot past UNCP keeper Kristen Parker. The play was setup on a free kick by freshman Jennifer Winslett. The assist was Winslett's 11th on the season, the most of any Peach Belt player.

Yusuf added her second goal in the opening minutes of the second half, scoring in the 48th minute off an assist from Okosieme. She took a pass from her fellow Nigerian teammate and beat one defender and the keeper with a shot. Yusuf added her 31st goal of the season in the 74th minute off another assist from Okosieme, giving the Lakers some insurance.

With the win, the Lakers improve to 12-4-2 on the season and will advance to the Peach Belt Conference semifinals on Saturday, facing conference champion Francis Marion University. FMU will host the Final Four of the PBC Tournament on Saturday and Sunday after beating Georgia College & State University 1-0 in double overtime on Wednesday.

The winner of Saturday's match will advance to the PBC Tournament final on Sunday.

The loss drops UNCP, who defeated Clayton State 2-1 in the regular season, to 12-5-2 on the season.

UNCP finished the match with 12 shots and six corner kicks compared to 10 shots and two corners for the Lakers. Clayton State keeper Judith Chime recorded her fourth shutout of the season with three saves.

The Lady Braves had a couple of opportunities to score. Jaime Black fired a shot just over the goal in the 38th minute from 25 yards, while teammate

Kelly Jones barely missed on a header with 25 minutes remaining after a corner kick.

Yusuf's three goals give her 31 on the season, the most of any player at the NCAA Division II level and two shy of teammate Okosieme's Peach Belt and school record. She scored 33 goals in 2001.

The win for Clayton State gave the Lakers their 12th on the season, the most in school history.

Clayton State had 11 victories in both 2001 and 2002.