by David T. Mann
Darton State women’s and men’s soccer programs ranked 8th and 3rd, respectively, in preseason polls released by the NJCAA this week.
The polls placed the Darton teams in the very positions in which they left the national tournaments last fall.
“Makes you wonder if they’re really doing their homework,” Darton head women’s soccer coach Ken Veilands said. “That’s all right we’ll take care of business. We have to make it to (the national championships in) Melbourne and go from there. That’s the plan. Of course we want to move up the ladder and get in the top four for seeding purposes.”
On the men’s side, the Cavaliers spent all of the 2012 season ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA polls. They finished the national championship, which was hosted by Darton, tied for third place after a loss to eventual champion Tyler Community College (Tex.).
And although they are not entering this season as No. 1 in the poll, the Cavs will step into 2013 without the pressure of defending a No. 1 ranking and without the weight of hosting a 12-team, national championship event.
“Our program is used to this, year in and year out, being ranked in the top five,” Sasnett said. “It’s a nice gesture, but our goal is to be number one in November.”