As the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference begins to wind down, the Barton men’s soccer team is moving up.
Barton moved into second place in the Jayhawk Tuesday afternoon at the Barton Sports Complex with a 3-1 win over Cowley.
The win temporarily put the Cougars ahead of Neosho in the standings with 14 points and improved Barton to 4-1-2 in the Jayhawk.
The Cougars are 5-3-3 overall. Cowley fell to 3-4 in the conference and 4-6 overall.
Neosho could surpass the Cougars in the standings before the two battle Oct. 19 in a contest that could very well determine second place in the Jayhawk and could still play into the regular season title.
League-leading Coffeyville (5-1) has far from wrapped up the conference title with three matches still to play.
“It was a good win and the guys played well,” Barton head coach Aaron Avila said. “We still haven’t put it all together, but we are moving in the right direction.”
It took a while for the Cougars to get going Tuesday on the warm afternoon on the turf at Barton.
The two teams went to intermission scoreless despite the fact the Cougars put six shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes.
It didn’t take long for Barton to change that in the second half, though.
Scotland sophomore Chris Hogg put a free kick from 30 yards just inside the top post to give Barton a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the second half.
In a near case of déjà vu, Hogg made it 2-0 less than one minute later with a free kick from 25 yards out.
The Cougars held that 2-0 margin until 20 minutes remained in the contest.
Freshman Gian Scalise gave Barton even more cushion when he found himself in a 1-on-1 after dribbling down the left side and beat the Tiger keeper for the 3-0 lead with 19:34 to play.
Barton keeper Austin Kail lost his shutout with just 2:03 to play when Roman Gutierrez scored on a rebound to make the final 3-1. Kail finished the day with four saves.
“We just weren’t able to finish opportunities in the first half,” Avila said. “We had them but just couldn’t finish them. We did a better job in the second half.”
The Cougars will play their final home regular season contest Friday when Northeastern (Colorado) Junior College comes to town for a 4 p.m. kickoff.
Things slow down considerably at that point as Barton will get nine days off before its showdown with Neosho in Chanute on Oct. 19.
The Cougars will close out the regular season with a trip to Pratt on Oct. 28. Barton will try to slide in a make-up date with the Kansas Wesleyan JV in that 18-day span that currently has just two games.