EVANS, GA – PBC Player of the Year Ilija Ilic scored all three goals as the top-seeded Mountain Lions shut out fourth-seeded Clayton State 3-0 in the PBC Tournament semifinals on Friday at Blanchard Woods Park. The senior has his fourth hat trick in his last six games as the Mountain Lions (16-0-1) will play in the league final for the first time in PBC history.
Ilic struck first at the 16:23 mark. Lewis Hilton took a free kick near midfield which was then headed by Khurram Shazad to the feet of Ilic, who beat Clayton State goalkeeper Nick Punter in the lower left.
Shazad featured prominently in the second goal as well as he was fouled in the box after beating his defender one-on-one. The senior was taken down from behind, giving YHC a penalty kick which was converted by Ilic at the 33:08 mark.
Ilic finished off the hat trick with less than a minute remaining. The senior from Belgrade, Serbia, chipped his first one-on-one breakaway over the crossbar, but took his second around Punter and into the open net. Ilic, who leads the PBC in goals, boosted his season total to 22, six of those coming in the first two games of the PBC Tournament.
Clayton State (9-8-1) could find little success on offense and were held to just two shots in the game, one on goal. Casey Shultis and Seku Thornell had the attempts for the Lakers; YHC keeper Jordan Bradshaw had one save in the contest.
Young Harris advances to the PBC Championship game on Sunday at 1:00 pm at Blanchard Woods Park where they will face either Francis Marion or USC Aiken.