By Doug Gorman
The Clayton State Lakers men's soccer team improved its overall record to 7-2-1 Wednesday night with a 2-0 victory against Emory.
Both teams came into the game nationally ranked in their respective polls. Emory (10-1), which lost for the first time this year, entered the game ranked 10th in the NCAA Division III poll.
Clayton State, which has posted shutouts in all its victories this season, came into the battle ranked 20th in the NCAA Division II poll.
The Lakers seized the momentum early in the contest, scoring both goals 18 minutes into the contest.
Jamal Geathers took a pass from Brett Neilsen in front of the goal and put the ball in the back of the net to give the Lakers a 1-0 lead.
It was Geathers' 11th goal of the season.
Nearly 10 minutes later, the Lakers added their last goal of the game when Mathias Faublas stole the ball away from Emory in the middle of the penalty box and banged it past Eagles' goal keeper Keith Meehan for a 2-0 lead.
Emory tested the Lakers defense throughout the night, outshooting the Lakers 15-10.
They also forced nine corner kicks compared to the Lakers' one.
"Most of the time when teams put up a lot of shots against us they come from about 20 to 25 yards out," Lakers head coach Pete Petersen said. "Most of their shots came inside the box. That's something we have to stop."
The Lakers split their goal keeping duties with Janiel Simon playing the first half and Billy Hale taking over in the final 45 minutes.
Both goalkeepers kept the Eagles off the scoreboard by making three saves each.
Emory's Marc Del Marmol led the way with four shots on goal.
Geathers had two shots to lead the Lakers.
Clayton State gets back to Peach Belt Conference action on Saturday when they play North Georgia as part of a conference doubleheader in Morrow beginning at 4:30.
"North Georgia is a really good scrappy team," Petersen said.
"We have to be careful. We can't have another hiccup like we did against USC-Aiken."
Clayton State goes into the PBC contest with an 1-1 league record.
n Clayton State moves up to 20th in latest NSCAA/Adidas Division II Men's Soccer poll:
After dropping the last couple of weeks, the Clayton State Laker men's soccer team made an ascension in the latest NSCAA/Adidas Division II Men's Top 25, which was released on Tuesday.
Clayton State moved up to 20th in the new poll, up three spots from 23rd in last week's Top 25. The Lakers are one of two teams from the Peach Belt Conference that are ranked in the Top 25.
Rival Lander is ranked 15th in this week's poll, up one spot from 16th last week.
In addition to the National Top 25, the Lakers also maintained third place in the Division II Southeast Region.
Clayton State is third behind both Lander and third-ranked Lees-McRae, a team Clayton State tied in the second week of the season. Teams behind the Lakers include St. Andrews, Limestone, Belmont Abbey, Queens and Pfeiffer.