Winning season! Clayton State women blank USC Aiken 2-0 for 10th shutout of the season
AIKEN, S.C. – October 29, 2011 – Upon his arrival as the women's head soccer coach at Clayton State, Gareth O'Sullivan was out to change the landscape of the Lakers' fortunes this season.
In a season of new accomplishments, the Lakers reached another pinnacle on Saturday by closing out the regular season with a 2-0 victory at USC Aiken in Peach Belt Conference action. The victory improves Clayton State to 9-6-2 overall and 4-4-2 in the Peach Belt. More importantly, it guarantees the Lakers their first winning season since 2007.
In addition, Clayton State recorded its 10th shutout of the season, matching the most by a Laker team previously set in 2005. USC Aiken ends its season 4-12 overall and 1-9 in the Peach Belt.
Clayton State scored both of its goals in the first half on the foot of junior forward Natalia Valentine. She scored her first in the 12th minute on a give and go off an assist by Josefine Holsten in the lower left corner of the net. Valentine struck again in the 31st minute as she took an incoming pass from Dior McGruder and hammered it into the upper right-hand corner of the net.
For the season, Valentine has now scored 11 goals, making her one of the leaders in the Peach Belt Conference.
From there, the Laker defense took over as Clayton State goalkeeper Laoise O'Driscoll recorded five saves to preserve the shutout. It was her ninth shutout of the season, the second-most in a season by a Laker goalkeeper. O'Driscoll has allowed only two goals in her last 874 minutes of action.
USC Aiken out-shot Clayton State 12-11, and there were a combined 37 fouls committed by both teams.
Clayton State will know on Sunday who it will play in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and where it will be.