PERKINSTON, Miss. — It took three games last season for a slow-starting Darton women’s soccer team to find its first victory.
On Thursday, the 2013 Lady Cavs wasted little time finding the gas pedal.
Darton freshman Lyana Perez scored three minutes into Thursday’s season opener against Mississippi Gulf Coast, and the eighth-ranked Lady Cavs cruised to a 6-0 victory.
“I think we were a little tentative at first, but they quickly realized they could take control, control the possession and pin (Mississippi Gulf Coast) on their end of the field,” Darton coach Ken Veilands said. “It opened up pretty quickly for us.”
Perez and freshman Shanese Bowen each scored two goals, while freshmen Janay Campbell and Brittanie Hensley each scored once for Darton, which jumped ahead 4-0 at the half.
“We beat a team we feel like we should have beaten,” said Veilands, whose Lady Cavs lost in the NJCAA national quarterfinals last season. “We controlled over 80 percent of the possession and controlled them all over the field.”
Veilands went to his bench midway through both the first and second halves, keeping his players fresh for a considerably tougher game today when they play No. 14 Pearl River (Miss.) Community College.
“You have to move on from this one because (today’s) game won’t be as easy,” Veilands said. “We will have to eliminate some of the mistakes we made (Thursday) and speed up our play. (Pearl River) will be a much more athletic team than we played (Thursday).”
For a season opener, however, mistakes were at a minimum.
“It was good that we were able to bring kids off the bench, and we didn’t lose our tempo,” Veilands said. “We kept our pressure on and our possessions up. I was very happy with the fact that we didn’t drop off any.”
Valdosta State transfer Hong Tran started the game in goal and played the first 45 minutes before being relieved by Tori Danchak, and neither keeper was challenged by Mississippi Gulf Coast’s offense.