GREENWOOD – Richard Bryan tallied a goal and an assist to propel the No. 24-ranked Lander men’s soccer past Clayton State 2-0 in the Bearcats’ Peach Belt Conference opener on Saturday night at Van Taylor Stadium. The win was Lander 11th consecutive victory at home and its 10th consecutive conference win in the regular season.
“I thought it was a very accomplished performance from start to finish,” said head coach Lee Squires. “We controlled much of the match and the clean sheet was really important to us. Tonight was about as accomplished a performance as we could hope for against a very good Clayton State team.”
Lander’s defense held the Lakers to just three shots on the evening, snapping Clayton State’s streak of 19 consecutive matches with at least one goal.
After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, Lander lined up for a free kick in the opening moments of the second half. The Bearcats worked the ball to Bryan in front of the right post, who then passed to George Knight. The shot was deflected away by Clayton State’s Oliver Pannell, but George Barmby hammered the rebound into the back of the net to put the Bearcats up 1-0 at the 46:37 mark.
In the 74th minute, Lander doubled its lead as Jordan Skelton flicked a pass to the left of the box and Bryan fired a low shot that zipped past Pannell to put the Bearcats ahead 2-0. Lander outshot Clayton State 19-3 while owning an 8-6 advantage on corner kicks.
Dean Cowdroy earned his third shutout of the season, making one save on the evening.
The Bearcats return to action on Wednesday with a road match against Flagler at 7:30 p.m.