ALBANY – Region 17 tournament MVP Brianna Lemerise’s celebratory backflips ran rampant today as she and the Lady Cavaliers won the 2013 Region 17 Championship final, 4-0, over Georgia Perimeter College.
Lemerise scored the game-winner only ten minutes into the match, setting the stage for a flurry of Darton goals against a Lady Jaguar team that had allowed only four goals in all of the regular season.
Fantastic defensive efforts shut down all that GPC could do to score, and led to ‘keeper Hong Tran’s 14th shutout of the season.
The landslide victory followed Darton’s 5-1 win over Middle Georgia in the semis, Saturday, and marked the women’s soccer program’s third straight conference title.
Darton’s superior offense was led by Lyana Perez, who scored a hat trick in the semis and notched two more goals today. She is tied as the second leading goal-scorer in the NJCAA, with 38 and counting.
Perez, midfielders Chevelle Lopez and Emily Atkinson, and hard-nosed defender Janay Campbell all represented Darton with 1stTeam All Region 17 namings. Tran and defender Kristy Gash earned 2nd Team All Region honors.
It’s been a phenomenal post-season for the No. 4-ranked Lady Cavs, who are now 20-1. Darton has so far punched 97 goals this season, while the fast, aggressive Darton defense has allowed only 11 goals into their net.
These Lady Cavaliers also pushed Ken Veilands past previous records to become as the head women’s soccer coach with the most career wins in Region 17. Today marked his 235th win as head of the Lady Cavs program. The Region recognized Veilands as the 2013 Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year, today.
Today's win moves Darton into the 2013 NJCAA Championship Tournament in Melbourne, Fla.