Second-half spurt propels Clayton State men past Young Harris 4-1

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – September 21, 2011 – Needing some offensive fireworks, the Clayton State Laker men's soccer team received it on Wednesday as the Lakers used a strong second half to win a 4-1 decision at Young Harris.

The victory improves the Lakers, ranked 15th in the nation in Division II, to 5-2 overall. Young Harris, which is in its first official season of NCAA Division II, falls to 5-2 overall.

Clayton State broke the game open with three goals in the second half. Matty Phillips accounted for the first two.

The senior forward scored in the middle of the penalty box off an assist by fellow senior forward Ryan Pugh in the 56th minute. Eleven minutes later, senior defender Roger Boniface took an errant Mountain Lion pass in the midfield and dished it to Phillips again in the center of the penalty box for a goal and a 3-1 Clayton State lead.

Pugh finished off the scoring for the Lakers in the 87th minute with a goal off an assist by senior midfielder Sukhman Bal.

Young Harris struck first early as Alex Rivera scored in front of the goal off an assist by Niall McCabe in the fourth minute. The Mountain Lions held the 1-0 lead for 30 minutes before Boniface evened it for the Lakers with a header off a free kick by Janny Rivera.

Clayton State goalkeeper Bryan Garcia recorded a career-high eight saves, while his Young Harris counterpart Wezly Barnard had four saves. The game was physical with a combined 31 fouls and eight yellow cards.

Clayton State returns to Peach Belt Conference action on Saturday, playing host to Francis Marion at 6 p.m. at Laker Field.

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