by David T. Mann, Director of Sports Information
ALBANY – At 6 p.m., Friday, the Lady Cavaliers will kick off what is arguably their toughest game of the season as they take on their conference rival, Georgia Perimeter College. But there’s more on the line than just Darton’s ninth straight, undefeated victory.
A win would lift their stance to the top team in the GCAA. It might again improve the program’s current No. 5 national ranking. But it would certainly make Darton head women’s soccer coach Ken Veilands tied as the record-holder for the most wins in the history of Region 17.
“That’s awesome,” said sophomore goalkeeper Hong Tran. “He’s going to be the most winning coach in our Region? That’s going to be one more accomplishment toward making it as a national champion.”
And they may be on their way. The Lady Cbattle’ as they viewavaliers are a perfect 8-0 overall. They’ve allowed only 6 goals into their net, while offensively they’ve hammered teams with a total of 42 goals. Eighteen of those have come from Peru-national Lyana Perez, who ranks No. 4 among the top goal-scorers in the nation.
But watch out for sophomore captain Stephanie Anes, who last week changed roles from a defender to a central midfielder. She’s already scored three goals and given an assist.
“It’s different but I like it,” she said. “I have more freedom. I feel more involved with the game.”
Anes’ leadership in the midfield will be an important factor in Friday’s outcome. She knows Georgia Perimeter College is undefeated as well. In conference play they are 5-0 and ranked No. 1. The Lady Jaguars have scored 35 goals in five games and have allowed only one goal against them.
“It will be a brutal battle,” Tran said. “It will be one to watch. We’re nervous and excited at the same time. It’s going to be the most intense game of our season.”
Should the Lady Cavaliers win, it will be win number 224 for Veilands, which ties a record set by Kathy Brown during her 13-year span as women’s soccer head coach at Young Harris College.