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Clayton State women soccer loses in NCAA tournament

Clayton State junior forward Jahmela Williams tries to advance the ball in Friday’s 1-0 loss to Columbus State in the NCAA Div. II Southeast Regional in North Carolina. (Special Photo)

Clayton State junior forward Jahmela Williams tries to advance the ball in Friday’s 1-0 loss to Columbus State in the NCAA Div. II Southeast Regional in North Carolina. (Special Photo)

Columbus State got its revenge.

The Cougars women’s soccer team defeated No. 11 Clayton State 1-0 on Friday in a NCAA Div. II Southeast Regional match at the Wingate Soccer Complex in North Carolina.

With the win, Columbus State advances to Sunday’s match against host Wingate in the second round of the national tournament.

Clayton State’s season ends with a 12-4-6 record while Columbus State improves to 15-6.

Columbus State midfielder Chelsea Person scored what would be the game-winner 10 minutes into the match. The play was setup on cross along the end line from forward Nicole Corcione, followed by Person firing a short shot from inside the box in upper right corner of the net.

Clayton State best chance to equalize the match came midway through the second half when Laker midfielder Melissa Hetherington drilled a shot from just outside the box. A spectacular diving save by Columbus State keeper Maylynn Parsons kept the match from being locked at one piece.

“Give Columbus State credit, they played well and deserved to win today,” Clayton State coach Gareth O’Sullivan said. “It’s always tough to end a season, but we had a great year, winning both the Peach Belt regular season and conference tournament to put Clayton State soccer on the map.”

Parsons had to dive to her right to deflect the shot with her hands and save the Columbus State lead.

“That was the save of the year,” Columbus State coach Jay Entlich said in a statement after the match. “Who knows what would have happened if that goal went in.”

The loss snapped the Lakers 16-match non-losing streak, which included a 3-0 win over then-ranked Columbus State in Morrow.

Columbus State has now advanced to the second round of the national tournament for the seventh straight season.

“Clayton State is an excellent team and it was a tough 90 minute match,” Entlich said. “It was huge to jump out in front but we knew that they had too many good players to go down quietly.”

MEN’S SOCCER: Four players were named to the 2013 Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team earlier this week by the conference office.

Making the first team all-academic team were sophomores midfielder Jonny Evans, defender Nikola Gazibara, and defender Luke Torak. Sophomore midfielder Nomis Cisic was named honorable mention.

Clayton State’s season came to a close last week, falling 2-1 to Francis Marion in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. The Lakers finished with a 10-5-2 record on the season.