Darton freshman Shanese Bowen takes a shot in the first half of Wednesday’s game against South Georgia College. Bowen scored twice in the Lady Cavs’ 4-0 win. (Staff photo: John Millikan)
ALBANY — Shanese Bowen had a feeling something special would happen during Wednesday night’s home opener against South Georgia College.
She just knew.
“I could feel it at practice (Tuesday),” Darton’s freshman forward said. “I was telling my teammates that (Wednesday) was going to be my day.”
And was it ever.
Bowen scored twice in the first 20 minutes in the home and Region XVII opener for the Lady Cavs, and freshman Lyana Perez added two more goals to lead nationally-ranked No. 8 Darton to a 4-0 win.
“After my first goal, I said to my goalkeeper (Hong Tran), ‘I told you. I told you it was going to be my night,’ ” Bowen said.
The 1-2 combination of Perez and Bowen proved lethal on Wednesday, but Darton coach Ken Veilands said it was just the beginning of what his Lady Cavs (3-0) are capable of this season as they look to build on last year’s trip to the NJCAA national tournament.
“In our system of play right now (they are our best scorers), but we have others on this team who can do this, and we can progress to that. We can’t be two dimensional,” Veilands said. “Shanese and Lyana are two different kinds of players. Shanese is a strong, athletic kid that can burst through and find the goal with strength. Lyana is a little more dynamic and can do a little more with the ball. She looks for places to get the ball, and then she can finish it if given the right opportunity.”
Bowen, who now has five goals this season, put the first point on the scoreboard Wednesday seven minutes into the game and then made it 2-0 14 minutes later on a header on an assist from Chevelle Lopez.
Perez made it 3-0 with 17:20 left in the first half, lifting the ball over the goalkeeper’s head on an assist from Brianna Lemerise. Perez then scored the only goal in the second half with 12:04 left to push Darton’s lead to 4-0.
Despite the shutout, however, Veilands wasn’t exactly pleased with his team’s effort.
“We need to be better than this,” Veilands said. “If you look at the other teams in our region right now and look at Georgia Perimeter, Middle Georgia and ABAC, they are probably the most talented and for us to compete we will have to be better than this. There is no question about it.”
The Lady Cavs play again Friday at home against Broward Community College at 5 p.m.
DARTON MEN BEAT THOMASVILLE JV: The No. 2 Darton men’s soccer team improved to 3-0 on Wednesday with a 6-2 victory against the Thomasville junior varsity team.
Sophomore forward Alejandro Garcia led the way with three goals, while Darwin Espinal scored twice and John Labrador added one goal.
“We played well in moments,” Cavs coach Bart Sasnett said. “We certainly didn’t play our best soccer, but we finished when we had chances.”
The Cavs are in action again Fruday at home against Eastern Florida State at 7 p.m.