Darton’s Sashanna Campbell (11) breaks away from the Monroe (N.Y.) defense for a goal during Thursday’s 4-1 win at NJCAA nationals. (Darton College/Special to The Herald)
MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Redemption never came so easy.
The Darton women's soccer team cruised to a 4-1 victory against Monroe Community College in Thursday afternoon's opening round game of the NJCAA national tournament.
The victory, which avenged Darton's loss to Monroe in the 2005 national title game, was also the 200th win in the history of the program.
And all of those 200 wins have come under Veilands, who started both the men's and women's programs in 2000.
"Getting the 200th win was nice, but it was also nice for the girls in 2005 who had been emailing me and texting me (about beating Monroe)," said Veilands, who received messages from former players as far away as Australia. "They were all pushing and pulling for us."
But with a semifinal game today against Scottsdale Community College looming, Veilands said he didn't have much time to celebrate.
"You have to learn to enjoy it by looking forward to the fact that you are playing again (today)," he said.
Then the news only got better for Darton, which later Thursday evening saw its No. 1 men's team win its nationals opener, 1-0, against Pima (Arizona) CC.
As for the ladies, four different players scored for the No. 3 seed Lady Cavs -- Shelby Bush, Savanah Cantrell, Haisha Cantave and Nikki Terrell -- and Veilands said the mixture of girls stepping up made all the difference.
"I think everyone contributed and that was key. We were able to go to the bench when we got the lead," said Veilands, especially noting the play of sophomore Brooke Barton, who came off the bench to play defense.
Bush scored the first goal on an assist by Cantave, who dribbled nearly the length of the field before centering the ball to Bush. The goal was Bush's 33rd of the year, giving her the fourth-highest point total in the nation.
Cantrell netted the second goal to give the Lady Cavs a 2-0 lead at halftime, but Monroe scored on a penalty kick to open up the second half.
Cantave then gave the Lady Cavs a 3-1 lead with her 21st goal of the year, and Terrell finished off the Lady Tribunes with her 12th goal this season.
Coming into the game, Veilands was worried how the Lady Cavs would perform on the artificial turf at Melbourne Central Catholic Church in Melbourne, Fla., especially since Monroe plays its home games on that same surface.
"We had to get used to the turf," said Veilands, who had the Lady Cavs practice on turf several times in the last week. "I thought that would be our Achilles' heel. I think we had a little bit of a struggle with it at first, but we got those jitters out. Our athleticism just overwhelmed them."
The Lady Cavs now play No. 2 seed Scottsdale Community College (Ariz.) at 2 p.m. today in the first semifinal game. Scottsdale (21-0-1) is ranked No. 2 in the nation and defeated Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa in Thursday's opening round, 3-0.
"If we're not organized, we'll get burned," Veilands said of his matchup with Scottsdale. "They're good, quick and they like to counter attack. We're going to have to be sharp defensively."