It has been a big week for the Barton men’s soccer team in quest of the second seed in the upcoming Region VI Championships.
First and foremost, the Cougars picked up a pair of wins on the pitch. The second of those came Thursday at the Barton Sports Complex in the way of a 4-0 blanking of Hesston.
Another major development happened Thursday. Pratt, a team the Cougars were battling for that second spot, was forced to forfeit nearly all its wins this year when it was learned the Beavers had been using an ineligible player.
“It was a good day for us,” Coach Mike Brown said. “We want to start at home in the playoffs. That is important to us. Thursday was a very good day in achieving that goal.”
Those two things all but assured the Cougars the No. 2 seed in the post-season. The only way Barton would not be the second seed is if the Cougars lost their final two games and Dodge City won its final three games.
Barton is now 8-2 in the region and 10-2 overall after picking up the win on the field Thursday and a forfeit win as well. Hesston fell to 1-7-1 and 3-9-1.
“We are starting to get rolling a little bit,” Coach Brown. “That is five in a row. It is a good time of the season to start to get things rolling.”
Barton did all the damage it needed in a quick five minutes span midway through the opening half. Alexander Kay gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead 20 minutes in with header in the box.
Jose Escobedo added another goal on a flick past Hesston goal keeper Luke Hertzler just five minutes later to make it 2-0.
Barton’s Mario Ramirez would make it 3-0 in the waning seconds of the opening half to give the Cougars a commanding 3-0 lead at intermission.
Barton’s Seny Gueye rounded out the scoring with his first career goal with 18 minutes to play with a header of his own.
As the season heads toward the post season, Coach Brown is liking what he is seeing from his team.
“We are having some players really start to play well,” Coach Brown said. “Teppei Negami is starting to reach his full potential. Parker Smith from Rose Hill is so coachable.
“Alex Kay is just an awesome teammate who works his tail off. He had never played forward and we converted him and he is getting better every day.”
Barton will get a chance to lock up the second seed Wednesday with a trip to Dodge City. The Conquistadors must first beat Garden City to have a chance to surpass the Cougars.
Barton 4, Hesston 0
Hesston 0 0 – 0
Barton 3 1 – 4
Barton – Alexander Kay (Maxime Noel, Jose Escobedo), 20:00
Barton – Escobedo (Teppei Negami), 25:00
Barton – Mario Ramirez (Angel Lopez), 45:00
Barton – Seny Gueye (Lopez), 72:00