Darton sophomore Shashanna Campbell, left, is leading the nation in scoring with 29 goals and 13 assists.
ALBANY -- Darton forward Shashanna Campbell may have entered this season in the shadows of former Canadian National star Haisha Cantave and former Ole Miss goalkeeper Sarah Story, but now the Manchester, Jamaica, native is making her own shadows.
And they are getting bigger and bigger every game.
Cantave and Story are having fine seasons, but Campbell is having the season of a lifetime. The sophomore scored five goals in Darton's 14-0 blowout win against Andrew College on Sunday and is now leading all NJCAA schools in the nation in scoring with 29 goals and 13 assists.
After her five-goal performance, she sat one goal behind the NJCAA's top goal-scorer, Melissa Johnson of Region XVII-rival Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
But another goal in Wednesday's 2-0 win against Middle Georgia College, puts Campbell in a tie with Johnson.
"She's probably going to get Region XVII Player of the Year," said coach Ken Veilands, who sat Campbell at the beginning of Sunday's second half before putting her back in the game, "but I didn't want to leave any doubt (between her and Johnson).
"She's just an all-around good player. She works hard, never complains. She has a lot of natural talent and also a good work ethic; that's what separates her from the rest."
However, Campbell isn't the only Lady Cav putting the ball into the back of the net. Shelby Bush scored six goals Sunday, upping her season total to 26 goals. Bush, a sophomore from Shalimar, Fla., is tied for third in the country with 63 points.
Darton (12-2-2, 11-0-2) has 92 Region XVII goals so far, which may be the leverage it will need to secure the top spot in the Region XVII tournament in Clarkston on Oct. 28. If Darton beats Gordon College on Friday, it should become the No. 1 seed in the tournament over host Georgia Perimeter College based on goal differential.
HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE: The Darton men's soccer team finished the season unbeaten at home and stayed undefeated in Region XVII on Sunday with an 11-1 victory against last-place Andrew College.
The Cavs (13-1, 10-0) are ranked No. 2 in the nation and defeated Andrew College (3-12-1, 0-10-1) for the second time this month. It was the last home game of the regular season for the Cavs, who beat Middle Georgia College on Wednesday, 2-0.
"It was probably the ugliest game of soccer," Cavs coach Bart Sasnett said about Wednesday's victory. "It was very chippy and intense. It wasn't very pretty, but we got the win and that's all that matters."
Diego Ramos, who leads the region in points (54) and assists (26), had a goal and five assists against Andrew and a goal and an assist against Middle Georgia College.
Darton's sophomore class, which includes key players Ramos, Carlos Trombino Fihlo (eight goals, four assists), Guilmerme Frota (seven goals, six assists) and J.R. Rynearson (four goals, five assists), has now won 32 games throughout their two seasons -- the most successful sophomore class in the history of the program, Sasnett said.
DARTON XC FINISHES 2ND, 4TH IN S.C.: The Darton Cross Country program had a big day Saturday at the University of South Carolina Upstate Invitational, taking second and fourth place finishes among a pool of 4-year colleges and universities.
Sophomore Heath Lamb led the way for the Cavaliers, finishing seventh after completing the men's 8K in 27:17. Lamb was followed by teammates Kingsley Cajuste (8th, 27:27), Luis Navarro (13th, 28:09), Nathan Norton (15th, 28:17) and Cody Mallchok, (17th, 28:42). The team compiled 48 points to finish second out of a pool of seven teams.
In the women's race, Jeronda Stringfield passed teammate Shay Wright in the last mile to finish 13th and lead the Lady Cavs. Stringfield ran the women's 5K race in 21:10. She was followed by Wright (17th, 21:40), Ashley Tosky, (25th, 22:00), Vanessa Pina (28th, 22:14) and Lacey Webb (30th, 22:24). The Lady Cavs tallied 97 points to finish fourth -- only thirteen points away from finishing second (85 points, Wofford College).
"I was very pleased with both teams," Darton coach Bruce Skiles said. "Heath and Kingsley ran strong, although I think they could've ran stronger. I think they got into la-la land -- they lost contact of where they should have been in the race. It's hard to catch up when the other runners are just as good as you are."
The course was very soft, due to recent rain, which slowed the times down for the runners. However Darton ran fast enough to maintain its status at the top of Region XVII, and for the men's team to hold onto its No. 11 national ranking and the women to remain in the top 25.