CSU men's soccer begins season with thrills

From Staff Reports

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - There was nothing short of thrilling moments for the Clayton State Laker men's soccer team as it opened the 2009 season on Thursday night at Nova Southeastern. However, an early score and some stellar defense down the stretch was the key for the Lakers as they pulled off a thrilling 1-0 victory over Nova Southeastern at the NSU Soccer Complex.

Now in its 18th season of men's soccer, Clayton State is 10-6-2 all-time in season openers.

"This breaks the ice - what a great win," said Clayton State head coach Pete Petersen. "Our defense was awesome. We played very smart, especially down the final stretch."

The lone scoring came in the first half, when the Lakers' Brian Endres scored off an assist from Liam Brown in the 19th minute. However, it was anything but dull for the remainder of the game.

The opportunistic Sharks out-shot Clayton State 10-6 in the second half. In addition, the Lakers were forced to play a man down in the final 27 minutes when sophomore forward Leighton Fredericks was ejected with a red card.

But it was the Clayton State defense and the play of goalkeeper David Cristofoli downed the stretch that proved the difference. For the game, Cristofoli recorded six saves, including four in the second half as Nova Southeastern stayed on the attack. His final save came with six seconds remaining in the game off a shot attempt by the Sharks' David Wahlberg.

Nova Southeastern missed a golden opportunity to tie the game in the 67th minute when a shot by Wahlberg hit the crossbar.

Clayton State stays in south Florida on Saturday for a 7 p.m. showdown at Barry.