By Alan Simpson[iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/MilgSium7iQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]
Darton College’s Jowayne Laidley had a goal and two assists to lead the Cavaliers to a 3-2 extra time victory over the host Jaguars Saturday afternoon at GPC’s Dunwoody campus.
The matchup of NJCAA top-10 teams marked the first time the Georgia junior college rivals played since Darton won last year’s GCAA tournament final, also in extra time. GPC entered the game ranked eighth in the nation, Darton third.
After GPC stormed back in the final 10 minutes of regulation to force extra time, Darton’s Jahmel Swan scored the golden goal to end the game in the eighth minute of extra time. The Jaguars were unable to clear the ball, Laidley collected it and pushed it to a wide open Swan on the far post. Swan put away the easy goal.
Darton dominated the first 80 minutes of the game, maintaining possession and creating more scoring opportunities, but the momentum shifted after a scuffle broke out in the Darton box and seemed to wake up the GPC squad.
The referee called a foul against Darton on the edge of the penalty area and did not immediately signal whether or not he was awarding a penalty kick for the Jaguars. Before he made it to the site of the foul, several players became involved in a shoving match in the box. Darton’s Soren Yuhascheck and GPC’s Richard Mealey were given red cards and ejected as a result of the fracas. Mealey loudly claimed Yuhascheck spat on him. The arguing and shoving continued off and on as the referees attempted to regain control of the game.
The Jaguars were awarded a penalty kick, which Danny Seabrooke converted with 8:26 left in the game to cut the Darton lead to 2-1.
With 1:58 remaining, Seabrooke hit Aubrey Ross Nelson in stride down the left wing, catching Darton’s defense out of position. Nelson passed across the top of the box to Francisco Aguirre, who converted the equalizer.
Despite keeping the ball on the Jaguars’ end of the field most of the game, Darton was unable to convert many scoring opportunities. GPC also created quite a few chances on counterattacks but could not convert.
Darton’s Jaylon Bather scored the game’s first goal with under a minute left in the first half, converting a pass from Laidley.
With 10:39 left in the game, Darton appeared to close the deal when Troy Tucker hit Laidley on a breakaway to stretch the lead to 2-0.
Just two minutes later the game turned the Jaguars’ way.
Darton appeared to have little resistance when the Jaguars were able to put pressure on the Cavaliers’ defense. Unforced errors accounted for several GPC misses. The Jaguars were unable to maintain possession in the midfield most of the game, turning the ball over with especially high frequency during the first half. Strong defensive efforts from Mealey and Seabrooke, along with extraordinary goalkeeping from Seraphin Asante kept the game close.