by David T. Mann
THOMASVILLE – The Darton State College Cavaliers beat Thomas University Reserve, 6-2, Wednesday, and climbed to No. 2 in the NJCAA’s top ten national poll, released today.
In a game that was constantly paused by lightening delays, Darton’s Darwin Espinal and Alejandro Garcia lit up Thomas’ net. Both Cavaliers scored twice and gave two assists each.
Cavaliers Matt Ayrolla and John Labrador also scored. Starting goalkeeper Adam Cahill was flawless and made seven saves. Backup ‘keeper De’Monte Dudley blocked five shots but allowed two goals.
Espinal’s offensive effort follows a pair of hat tricks scored in Darton’s opening games with national powerhouses Monroe and Georgia Perimeter. With eight goals in three games, he now leads the nation in scoring. He also leads in total points, with 20, thanks in part to giving four assists.
Darton is now 3-0 and still has not lost a regular season game since 2011. The NJCAA has taken notice, apparently, and pushed the Cavaliers up to No. 2 in today’s D-1 soccer poll.
On Friday the Cavaliers will host Eastern Florida State in what is expected to be a very good matchup among two programs that recruit heavily from the South Florida talent pool.
Eastern Florida has played mostly scrimmage games so far, but the first-year program is 1-1 in regular matches with a 4-0 shutout over Mississippi Gulf Coast and a 3-1 loss to San Jacinto College. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.