Cavaliers take GCAA Soccer Championships

Cavaliers take GCAA Soccer Championships

The Darton Cavaliers men and women's soccer programs do what they have done consistently over the past 10-15 years and that is put themselves in a position to win region championships. This past weekend was no different. Both programs captured the regular season titles giving them both the #1 seed going in to the GCAA tournament.

The women squeaked through their semifinal game by defeating a stubborn ABAC team by a score of 1-0. The lone goal by Karoline Viera was enough to get to the title match against South Georgia State.
 

After playing two overtimes in their semifinal game, the Lady Hawks of South Georgia State jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by conference player of the year Shanelle Frederick. Darton then took the lead in the next 5 minutes on goals by Viera and Haley Knowles. Dani Weyer increased the first half  lead to 3-1. The second half continued much like the first with Darton goals by Laura Valcourt and Maggie VanHusan to increase the lead to 5-1. Bailey Pickering cut the score to 5-2 at the 73rd minute but Veera Viitikko finished the scoring for Darton and the 6-2 win. With the GCAA championship, the Lady Cavaliers advance directly to the NJCAA soccer championship in Melbourne FL.

 
 

In the nightcap,  it appeared it was going to be a runaway match for the Cavaliers as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Bulldogs of Georgia Military on goals by Tyriko Williams,Sean Hoffstater, Mariwan Azimi and Jahtino Richardson. GMC was able to reduce the lead to 4-1 just before halftime on a goal by Tinashe Chabata.

After a near scoreless second half, then with 4 minutes left, here is where things became interesting. Momentum changed in favor of GMC as Panayoti Gotsi scored at the 86 minute mark to cut the lead to 4-2. Three minutes later Taku Mashingaidze scored for the Bulldogs bringing the score to within one at 4-3. But the Cavaliers held on for the final minute to secure the championship for outgoing Coach Bart Sasnett by a 4-3 margin.

With a back to back regional championships, the men will advance to play in the southeast district tournament in Louisburg, North Carolina next week. The tournament will feature three top 20 teams and Darton will open the tournament with #1 ranked Louisburg. The top 2 teams advance to the NJCAA national soccer tournament.