Darton women win overtime thriller vs. rival GPC

Lyana Perez

Lyana Perez

ATLANTA — Darton women’s soccer coach Ken Veilands has been on the winning side of one marquee game after another in his 13 years with the Lady Cavs.

Friday’s thrilling 1-0 victory in overtime against rival Georgia Perimeter now ranks right up there with the best of them.

The nationally-ranked No. 8 Lady Cavs (14-1) got a goal from forward Lyana Perez 1:19 into the first overtime to avenge their only loss of the season and beat No. 5 GPC for the first time in the regular season since 2010.

“When we got into overtime, my thought was that if we worked harder and stayed in our system that we would find a way,” Veilands said. “These kids earned it. It was like a heavyweight boxing match in the 15th round. They were just punching away at each other.”

Perez landed the haymaker on an assist from Brianna Lemerise, handing the Lady Cavs their sixth straight win since GPC won series opener between the two teams on Sept. 20.

“They rushed the field and celebrated with her,” Veilands said about his team’s reaction after the sudden-death winner. “I was happy to see it. We needed a battle, and we needed to find a way to win a battle.”

Darton and GPC are now tied atop the Region XVII standings with one loss each, and the Lady Jaguars hold the tiebreaker based on goal differential.

It was Darton goalkeeper Hong Tran’s sixth straight shutout and 11th overall this season. Veilands also credited defenders Janay Campbell, Alexis Landers, Rebecca Whiteside and Kristy Gash for keeping GPC out of the goal.

The Lady Cavs play again at 3 p.m. Sunday at Andrew College, which is winless in the region.