Nov. 14, 2010

MONTEVALLO, Ala. - The Clayton State Laker men's soccer team is literally "going where no Laker team has gone before."

Playing Anderson in the 2010 NCAA Division II "Sweet 16" on Sunday, Clayton State scratched and clawed its way to a thriller 1-0 victory at Montevallo's Varsity Field. The victory sends 19th-ranked Clayton State to the NCAA Division II "Elite Eight" for the first time in program history. In addition, the Lakers improve to 19-3 overall, setting the single-season school record for victories in season.

Clayton State will now play Rollins next weekend in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals, or "Elite Eight", date, site and time to be determined. Anderson finishes its season 15-6-2.

"This is truly unbelievable," said Clayton State head coach Pete Petersen. "I salute Anderson. They have a great team and kept coming after us with everything they had. But our guys bunkered down and made the plays they had to make to win."

One player in particular making the key plays was junior goalkeeper Brian Garcia. He recorded his 11th shutout of the season with seven crucial saves. None of those saves were more evident than in the last couple of minutes when Anderson was on the attack.

The Trojans' Lasse Sohrweide took a cross in the penalty box and headed what looked to be the game-tying goal in the right corner of the net in the 88th minute. However, Garcia extended his body fully and tapped the ball away at the last second. Then with 28 second remaining, Garcia made the final save on a long shot attempt by Anderson's Aldo Lopez-Gill.

"That save on the header was perhaps the save in the history of men's soccer at Clayton State," Petersen said.

The lone goal of the game was in the 39th minute for Clayton State as Leigthon Fredericks broke free down the middle with a long pass from Sam Bevan and hammered it past Anderson goalkeeper Benjamin Pepion for his eighth goal of the season.

Pepion recorded four saves in the defeat for Anderson. The Trojans out-shot Clayton State 17-6.