04/05/07 — Clayton shuts out CBA booters

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Clayton shuts out CBA booters

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on April 5, 2007 1:48 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Goalie Courtney Sheeks has already experienced a lot as a freshman, but her and the rest of the Charles B. Aycock defense had rarely -- if ever -- seen the kind of pressure Clayton brought on Wednesday evening.

The Comets rocketed 28 shots on goal and came away with a 4-0 blanking of Aycock.

All game long, the Golden Falcons had difficulty matching up with the barrage of attackers Clayton threw at them. The pressure caused countless players to be open throughout the game.

"That's been a problem for us all year," said Aycock coach Tom Zietlow. "We're doing a little better, but (Clayton) brings so many players into the box. We've never seen anything like that before since most teams from around here don't bring as many players in the box.

"They brought the house every time, so we had a hard time getting back and matching up."

Match-up problems didn't victimize Aycock on the first goal. Kathryn Kunzmann drilled a shot from 25 yards out, 14 minutes into the half, that ricocheted off the right pole and into the net for a 1-0 Clayton advantage.

The Comets dominated the midfield play and controlled the tempo from the outset. Scoring opportunities were few and far between for the Golden Falcons all game long.

Aycock managed only one shot on goal and came away with no shots on four corner kicks.

The few scoring chances Aycock got came via the play of Amanda Schlaeppi. The senior made crisp passes and runs up the field, giving the exhausted Aycock defense a couple of much needed breaks.

"Amanda is by far the kind of spark plug that gets everyone going," said Zietlow. "I wish some of the other girls could take the energy she plays with. She plays until she can't play anymore."

Despite trailing 1-0 at the half, Zietlow was proud of the way his girls had played in the opening 40 minutes.

"I was impressed with the girls came out to play," he said. "They came out and played really hard in the first half and it shows how much this team has improved since the beginning of the year."

In the team's first game back on Feb. 28, Clayton had blitzed the Golden Falcons 7-2, so the 1-0 halftime deficit seemed like a minor victory for Aycock.

Any hopes of pulling off a real win went away quickly in the second half.

Moments after Sheeks made a brilliant diving save of a Comets' shot, Clayton struck.

Julie Oliver collected a lose ball off of Sheeks in the box and booted it in for a 2-0 lead.

Nine minutes later, Clayton used a fast break attack to gain a three on two advantage.

Cali Mudd passed to Christy Airington who put a shot off of Sheeks. Erin Parris collected the rebound and kicked it in to put the Comets ahead 3-0.

"When the ball goes by you think about what you could have done or what you should have done better," said Sheeks. "Then, you just try to make the changes the next time around."

Sheeks made adjustments all game long to the plethora of shots she was facing and came away with some impressive saves.

Sheeks made 20 saves against the Comets, including a high leaping one at the 74:00 mark when she jumped into the air, pinned a shot against the top bar and collected it as it fell into her arms.

"We threw (Courtney) in there at the start of the season and she's done a great job for us," said Zietlow. "She reads the ball well and catches those long kicks. We're really happy for the future with her."

Caitlin Mudd tallied Clayton's final goal on an assist from Marie Richters to make the final margin.

The loss drops Aycock to 6-7-1 on the season, Zietlow is seeing improvements in his team.

"This was a good measuring stick to see how far we've come," he said. "We can see evidence that we are getting better and that's what we're looking for."