9/19/2011 (ALBANY) – Darton College freshman Andrew Palumbo earned a hat-trick to humble Middle Georgia College 5-1 after a tied up first half Monday.
But it was a big night for several of Coach Bart Sasnett’s men, as his talented, No. 3-ranked team continuously improves and comes together.
Middle Georgia gave Darton a terrible time in the first half of the match, defending well and counter-attacking to challenge the Cavaliers in a frustrating battle.
Finally, with 16 minutes left on the scoreboard, sophomore Diego Ramos found the ball at his feet, beat a defender and pushed a pass to JoWayne Laidley. Laidley carried the ball to the end-line and precisely targeted a cross to Carlos Trombino Filho, a sophomore from Sao Paulo Brazil, who came crashing into the box to blast a header into the back of the net.
But the celebration wouldn’t last long. Darton’s midfielders and defenders appeared too relaxed immediately following a substitution and throw-in, giving Middle Georgia an opportunity they’d capitalize on to tie the score, 1-1.
Sasnett said he felt his team showed some “poor shape” in the first half. He made some changes for the second half that apparently Middle Georgia simply couldn’t handle.
“We came back out and opened the field up on the flanks,” he said.
It would take only a little over five minutes for Ramos to again find Laidley, who this time neatly hit a one-timer past a stunned goalkeeper to take the lead.
Twenty minutes later, Palumbo, a freshman from Fort Meyers, Fla., would begin to diminish any hopes Middle Georgia may have had of coming back to win.
In the 70th minute of the match, he received an assist from JR Rynearson and put the Cavs ahead 3-1. Eleven minutes later he struck again, this time just blasting a ball from inside the 18-yard box that left the goalkeeper motionless.
With a little over a minute left, Palumbo smartly placed a penalty kick in the lower left corner of the goal to finish the game.
The Cavaliers are now 5-0 in conference play and 7-1 overall. They’ve hosted a winning streak of four home games since Sept. 7 that has included over twenty Darton goals and only two against.
They will host Broward College at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Laidley squares for an assist to Filho
Palumbo cuts through the Middle Georgia defense.