EVANS, GA – Clayton State goalkeeper Valentina Bonaiuto made two saves in a penalty kick shootout as the sixth-seeded Lakers advanced past #2 North Georgia in the PBC semifinals on Friday. The two teams finished the game and two overtimes in a 1-1 tie, but the Lakers advance after taking the penalty shootout 5-4 in six rounds.
Clayton State will take on top-seeded Flagler on Sunday at 12 noon. The winner of the PBC Championship receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Clayton State reaches the PBC championship game for the first time since 2013. The Lakers reached this year's semifinals after edging UNC Pembroke in a PK shootout last Tuesday. No PBC women's soccer team has ever won their first two tournament games on shootouts.
Playing in wet conditions with persistent cold rain throughout, the Lakers opened the gam with a goal in the 10th minute as Isabel Massa lofted a shot over UNG keeper Morgan Ramby.
North Georgia answered in the second half as Taylor Malasek cleaned up a loose ball and blasted it home from 13 yards out in the 49th minute.
Both teams had opportunities to score in the second half and overtimes, but Ramby and Bonaiuto each made key saves to keep the game tied. Clayton State had three shots in the overtime periods while UNG had none.
Ramby made a save on the first penalty kick attempt and North Georgia had an advantage through the first two rounds. After the Lakers scored in the third round, Bonaiuto made a diving save that brought the teams back even. The two teams finished the first five rounds knotted at four and had to go to extra frames.
Clayton State's Chiara Rosener connected for the Lakers, while Bonaiuto came up big in the bottom half, making a kick save on a shot up the middle.