by David T.Mann, Director of Sports Information
CLARKSTON – Darton State College Lady Cavalier forward Lyana Perez scored a game-winner 79 seconds into overtime play as Darton put an end to Georgia Perimeter College’s previously undefeated season, Friday, in Clarkston.
The win follows Darton’s only blemish this year – a 2-0 loss to GPC in late September. Darton and GPC have battled nose-to-nose to be the No. 1 team in Region 17, and both are among the NJCAA’s elites, ranked 8th and 5th, respectively, in the latest polls.
According to the Jaguar Sports Information website, Darton’s 1-0 shutout ended a 59-game regular-season winning streak for the Lady Jaguars, with this being their first regular-season loss in four years.
And the victory certainly didn’t come easily.
After a 0-0 draw in regulation, a defensive error by GPC put the ball onto Brianna Lemerise’s feet. She passed to Perez, who juked a defender, beat Lady Jaguar ‘keeper Michelle Hurst in a 1-v-1 and scored Darton’s most important goal of the season.
It was only the third ever scored on Hurst, who leads the Region with a .30 goals-against average. But it was Perez’s 25th goal of the season, and she leads the Region by 10 goals now, and with 11 assists, she also leads with 59 points. She is a very serious, opportunistic offensive weapon for the Lady Cavs.
The Darton backfield certainly deserves credit as well, as the Lady Cavalier defense allowed only six shots onto their goal, which ‘keeper Hong Tran gobbled up to nab her
Darton is now 14-1 overall and 8-1 in Region 17 play. The program is tied with GPC as the top team in the Region, which will be determined by the team having the most conference wins. The two will likely clash again in the 2013 Region 17 Championship Tournament, hosted by Darton State on Nov. 1 and 2.
The Lady Cavs are next scheduled to play at Andrew College, Sunday, at 3 p.m.
Pictured: Lyana Perez battles three defenders near the Georgia Perimeter College goalbox, Friday, as Darton takes a 1-0 victory in overtime.