MORROW, Ga. – October 26, 2011 – The Clayton State Laker women’s soccer team aimed to send its three seniors out on a winning note on Wednesday, and it would take some additional time to make that happen.
However, a penalty kick goal by Silvia Espelt in the second overtime period was the difference as Clayton State pulled off a thrilling 1-0 victory over visiting Alabama-Huntsville at Laker Field. The victory improves Clayton State to 8-6-2 overall on the final home game for Laker seniors Elisabeth Cook, Jennifer Dreasler and Janei Ivey. Alabama-Huntsville falls to 5-9-1.
In addition, it marked the ninth shutout of the season for the Lakers – their most in a season since 2005.
"UAH’s goalkeeper was excellent tonight, and we weren’t exactly vintage," said a relieved Clayton State head coach Gareth O’Sullivan. "I am so delighted our three seniors got to finish with a win at Laker Field in their last home game."
Clayton State could not penetrate the tremendous effort by Alabama-Huntsville goalkeeper Iris Gunnarsdottir, who finished the game with 11 saves. Seven of those saves came in the second half when she repeatedly thwarted every opportunity the Lakers had.
It appeared Clayton State got the break it needed in the 95th minute of the first overtime period when the Lakers’ Josefine Holsten was tackled in the penalty box. However, Espelt’s penalty kick attempt hit the left post. But the freshman defender would get another opportunity and not be denied.
In the 104th minute, Alabama-Huntsville committed another foul inside the penalty box. This time, Espelt hammered the shot past Gunnarsdottir into the right corner of the net for the game-winner.
Clayton State had 18 shots compared to only seven for Alabama-Huntsville. Laker goalkeeper Laoise O’Driscoll recorded her eighth shutout of the season with two saves. She has allowed only two goals in her last 784 minutes.
Clayton State concludes the regular season on Saturday with a 5 p.m. Peach Belt Conference matchup at USC Aiken.