It did not take long for the Clayton State Laker women's soccer team to put Saturday's defeat at Kennesaw State behind them on Monday.
Behind two goals from Natalia Valentine, the Lakers put together a dominating performance as they rolled to an impressive 4-0 victory over visiting Palm Beach Atlantic in Clayton State's home opener at Laker Field. Clayton State evens its record at 1-1 overall, and the Lakers gave first-year head coach Gareth O'Sullivan his first victory at Clayton State.
It was a game clearly dominated by Clayton State. The Lakers had 23 shots to only five for Palm Beach Atlantic (1-2). Clayton State scored its lone goal of the first half in the sixth minute when Josefine Holsten hammered it home in front of the goal off a cross from Valentine.
The score remained 1-0 until the 67th minute as Valentine took a long pass from Elisabeth Cook and scored from the right corner of the penalty box. The Lakers then put the game away with two late goals – one by Loralee Powell in the 87 minute and the second by Valentine in the 89th minute. Emily Walling and Dior McGruder recorded the assists on the two goals.
Clayton State goalkeeper Laoise O'Driscoll recorded her first career shutout with two saves. Allison Fox recorded six saves for Palm Beach Atlantic. The two teams combined for 21 fouls and two yellow cards.
Mong'ony finishes third as Lakers place three in overall Top 10
The 2011 men's cross country season got off to a strong start for the Clayton State Lakers on Friday as they placed a strong second in the Strut's Season Opener, hosted by Jacksonville State.
The Lakers garnered 49 points to finish second in the eight-team field, only 14 points behind host and overall winner Jacksonville State. Clayton State finished 14 points ahead of Samford and 57 points in front of West Georgia.
"This was a very similar start to that of last season when we finished second to a Division I host school, and defeated another Division I," Lakers head coach Mike Mead said. "The hot weather affected the runners, but the nice thing was to watch was the competitive spirit of our guys."
Clayton State placed three runners in the overall Top 10. Senior Albert Mong'ony was the top Laker finisher in third place with a time of 15:46.03. He was five seconds off the pace of Jacksonville State's Mickey Sanders and Samford's Layton Dorsett. Highly-touted freshman Alex Foss had an impressive debut, finishing sixth in 16:13.22, followed closely by sophomore Charles Anderson finishing seventh in 16:16.06.
Sophomore Ayrton Azcue, coming off an injury last season, returned solidly with a 13th-place finish in 16:59.06. Freshmen Tanner Thomas and Preston Valencia rounded out the Clayton State scoring as Thomas placed 22nd in 17:37.17 and Valencia placed 26th in 17:49.04.
Pugh scores lone goal for 2-0 Lakers
Following an impressive season-opening victory over Anderson on Friday, the Clayton State Laker men's soccer team needed every ounce of energy and then some against a scrappy Pfeiffer squad on Saturday.
However, a late goal by Ryan Pugh was enough as the Lakers squeaked out a 1-0 victory over Pfeiffer in the 2011 Laker Shootout at Laker Field. Clayton State, ranked fifth in the NSCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 poll, improves to 2-0 overall, while Pfeiffer falls 0-2.
On the surface, it was a contest clearly dominated by the Lakers. Clayton State had a whopping 24 shots to only one by the Falcons. But clear shots at the goal were tough for the Lakers as Pfeiffer packed its defense inside the penalty box, allowing Clayton State very little room to maneuver.
But Pugh struck for the Lakers in the 73rd minute. The senior All-American forward took a cross pass from Alejandro Duque and scored on a header over the outstretched hands of Pfeiffer goalkeeper Zach Liles.
Clayton State goalkeeper Brian Garcia recorded the shutout with one save, while Liles recorded six saves for the Falcons.
Clayton State takes on No. 23 Tampa in a Division II Top 25 showdown on today at 7:30 p.m. at Laker Field.