From staff reports
The Clayton College & State University women's soccer team received good news earlier this week, earning a spot in the 2004 NCAA Division II National Soccer Championships, and a big reason for the team's success this season has been the effort of a trio of players that were named to the Peach Belt All-Conference team.
Clayton State's Nkiru Okosieme, Olaitan Yusuf and Judith Chime were all named to the Peach Belt All-Conference team for the 2004 season. 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 less than three seasons of play. She is a two-time NCAA All-Southeast Region performer, a three-time All-PBC player and a three-time All-PBC Tournament player. Nkiru currently ranks 16th in the nation in points per game and 21st in the country 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. 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 has 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 Ilorin, Nigeria, leads the nation in scoring with 33 goals on the season and with one more goal will break Okosieme's school and Peach Belt single season record. She has multiple goals in 10 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, earns her third straight All-Conference honor. Judith 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 last year. Chime has a 1.19 goals against average in over 1665 minutes this season.
In addition to being named to the All-Conference teams, Okosieme, Yusuf and Chime were named to the PBC All-Tournament team after the squad advanced to the PBC Tournament finals Sunday before falling to the University of North Florida 2-1 in double overtime.
The Clayton State women's team received its first bid to the NCAA national tournament on Monday. The squad will play in the Southeast Regional hosted by South Atlantic Conference's Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN. Clayton State will face Carson-Newman in the first round of the tournament at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, while North Florida and Catawba College will meet in the other semifinal match at noon. The semifinal winners will meet on Sunday, November 14th in the regional championship at 1:30 p.m.