by David T. Mann, Darton Sports Director
ALBANY – Late fall is bittersweet for Bart Sasnett, Darton State College head men’s soccer coach.
The Cavaliers’ All-Region 17 awards arrived in the mail this week, signifying a close to the 2013 soccer season and, for Sasnett, a routine shift from daily practices to recruiting calls and actively promoting sophomores to university programs.
But handing awards to six student-athletes, Tuesday, offered an opportunity to reflect on another successful season of Darton soccer.
“These guys are good soccer players, but it’s important to note that they are also of good character,” Sasnett said. “It’s going to be difficult to replace them, both as players and as people.”
Sophomores Alejandro Garcia, who this season scored 18 goals as a forward, and central defender Theodore Brown, who anchored a defense that allowed only nine Region goals, both earned All-Region 17, 1st Team awards.
Sophomores Jorge Chirinos and Enrique Bellow achieved 2nd Team, All-Region 17 honors, as did ‘keeper Adam Cahill, who led the conference in saves (109).
“They are the reason we won another regular season (co-)championship,” Sasnett said. “They’re all going to go on to play and have successful careers at the next level.”
However Darton’s top goal-scorer, Darwin Espinal, is a freshman, and you can bet Sasnett should have little trouble building a team around him next year.
Darwin earned Region 17 Co-Player of the Year and All-Region 17, 1st Team honors after scoring 23 goals and giving 10 assists in 17 games. He is No. 6 in the NJCAA for most goals and most total points (56).
A Darton athlete became the Region Player of the Year every year for the past three seasons.
Coaches voted Sasnett as Region 17 Men’s Coach of the Year as well. It marked the fourth time he’s won this title since taking over the men’s program at Darton seven years ago.