September 6, 2011

Pugh strikes again as No. 5 Clayton State men win overtime thriller

MORROW, Ga. – September 6, 2011 – Ryan Pugh strikes again for the Clayton State Laker men's soccer team.

After scoring the game-winner in the Lakers' thrilling victory over Pfeiffer on Saturday, Pugh came up big again on Tuesday with another game-winning goal to give Clayton State a thrilling 2-1 victory in overtime against visiting Tampa at Laker Field. The Lakers, ranked fifth in the nation in Division II, remain undefeated at 3-0, while No. 23 Tampa is 0-1.

This marks Clayton State's first victory over the Spartans since 2005. Tampa had won the three previous meetings between the two teams.

Pugh's game-winner came two minutes into the overtime period. After thwarting a Tampa attempt in the penalty box, Laker defender Chris Klute took control the ball and pushed ahead past midfield. He fed forward Jonathan Ray, who in turn found Pugh streaking down the right wing.

Pugh took the pass from Ray and hammered home the game-winner past Spartan goalkeeper David Niepel.

Tampa took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute when Dominic Cutrofello received a free kick from Brian Fekete from the midfield inside the penalty box. He turned to his right and scored from 15-yards out. The score remained 1-0 for the remainder of the half.

Clayton State kept attacking and knocking at the Spartan goal for much of the second half. In the 58th minute, the Lakers broke through. Roger Boniface's shot from the top of the penalty box was deflected by a Tampa defender. However, Kenny Mena took the loose ball on the left side of the goal box and scored the equalizer.

It was a physical game throughout, with the two teams combining for 35 fouls and four yellow cards. Niepel recorded six saves for Tampa.

Clayton State travels to Florida this weekend, taking on Lynn on Friday at 4:30 p.m., and Palm Beach Atlantic on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Questions and comments should be directed to gidrowell@clayton.edu

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