Garth O’Sullivan named Southeast Regional top coach

O’Sullivan named region’s top coach

After leading Clayton State to one of its most successful women’s soccer seasons, coach Gareth O’Sullivan was named the Southeast Regional coach of the year. (Special Photo)

After leading Clayton State to one of its most successful women’s soccer seasons, coach Gareth O’Sullivan was named the Southeast Regional coach of the year. (Special Photo)

MORROW - The postseason accolades continue to come in for Clayton State women’s soccer coach Gareth O’Sullivan, who guided the program into the NCAA Div. II playoffs.

O’Sullivan was named the 2013 NSCAA Division II Southeast Region Coach of the Year, the first time a Laker women’s soccer coach has received the honor. In addition to the region award, O’Sullivan was also named the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year last month.

“This award is shared amongst the entire coaching staff whom I’m lucky to have,” said coach O’Sullivan.”

In only his third season as coach, O’Sullivan has elevated the program back to elite status. The Lakers won the Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament championship, which were the first since 2005 and only the second time in the program’s 19-year history.

The Lakers also advanced to the 2013 NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer National Championships for the first time since 2005 and finished with a 12-4-6 record on the year. The squad entered the national tournament ranked No. 11 in the country.

By being named one of the eight NCAA Division II Region Coaches of the Year, O’Sullivan will be eligible for National Coach of the Year honors, which will be announced later this month.

During his tenure at the Morrow school, he has compiled a 31-18-10 overall with three straight winning season. Before taking the reins of the program, Clayton State had experienced three straight losing seasons.

MORE SOCCER: Clayton State had five players named to the Daktronics All-Southeast Region team.

Named to the first team was midfielder Alicia Robinson and forward Denisha Paskell. Defender Emily Walling, forward Melissa Hetherington and defender Nina Boganes were all named second team all-region squad.

“We are delighted to have five players recognized at the regional level,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s a credit to the players and an honor for the program.”

The Lakers had more players recognized than any other team in the region.

Robinson was named the Peach Belt Player of the Year after leading the league with 10 assists.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: The Clayton State women basketball team moved up a spot in the recent USA Today Sports Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, which was released earlier this week.

Clayton State is now in the seventh spot after dropping to No. 8 in the previous week’s poll.

The Lakers are 3-1 on the season and received 531 total points. Bentley (7-0) is ranked first in the poll with 768 total points, followed by Gannon second with 740 points. Clayton State is the only Peach Belt Conference school in the top-25.

Coming off a 89-61 win over Tusculum in the Loch Shop Thanksgiving Classic, the Lakers have been ranked in the Top-25 in 78 straight national polls. The last time the Lakers weren’t ranked among the country’s Top-25 teams dates back five years ago in the Jan. 6th poll in the 2008-09 season.

The Lakers return to action on Tuesday with a 5:30 p.m. game at Fort Valley State.