It was just one game in the standings. But it was much more in reality.
It was a bit of redemption and some separation for the Barton men’s soccer team as well.
Barton defeated Pratt in Jayhawk West soccer Sunday afternoon at the Barton Sports Complex by a 3-1 count.
In the process the Cougars took sole possession of second place in the conference at 2-1 while Pratt fell to 1-2. Barton is now 4-1 overall while Pratt is 3-4.
It also ended a frustrating 3-year drought to it foes from 40 miles to the south. Oh, and it was the first win over Pratt Coach Kevin Kewley since he left Barton and returned to Pratt to coach the Beavers three years ago.
So, yes, it was more than just your everyday win.
But don’t tell Coach Mike Brown. None of that mattered to the first coach of the Cougars.
“None of that is really our focus,” Coach Brown said. “I try to avoid all that. Naturally it is there for the guys, but my job is to focus on what we need to do to be successful.
“We focus on the process it takes to be successful like getting shots on goals and limiting fouls. We want to be efficient in how we play. This was a good team result for us.”
It didn’t start extremely well for Barton as Pratt took a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the contest on a Jordan Stubbings header off a free kick.
“I wasn’t worried to be honest with you,” Coach Brown said. “I was more curious to see how we would respond. When we went down 1-0 at Cloud, our players showed a little panic and forgot how to play as a team.
“This time we responded much better. We kept our focus on doing what we know how to do.”
Barton continued to attack the Beavers and finally broke through to tie the game with 20 minutes left in the first half. The Cougars evened it at 1-all when Luca Perez took a nice pass over the defense from Mario Ramirez and finished to the far post, beating Erwin Navarez.
Barton put the game away during a key 15-minute stretch midway through the second half. Julio Vicente gave the Cougars their first lead of the match when he split the Pratt defense and put the ball in the net with 30 minutes left in the game for a 2-1 lead.
Barton put an insurance goal on the scoreboard at the 73:12 mark when freshman Angel Lopez scored from the top of the box for the 3-1 advantage. The goal was made possible from a nice pass from sophomore team captain Vinicius Monteiro.
“We had two guys score off the bench for us,” Coach Brown said. “Vicente has been starting but he came in off the bench then Lopez hit a bomb for us. It was awesome to see.
“Here is a kid that had not played a single minute all season and came in a smashed one. That is who we are. Any guy can step up on any day.”
While Barton was putting two goals on the board in the second half, the Cougars defense was holding Pratt without a shot. In fact, Pratt got off just four shots all day – three of them on goal. JJ Parente saved two of those three shots.
Barton will step outside the Jayhawk for its next match but it will play into the Region VI standings for playoff purposes later in the year.
The Cougars travel to Hesston to take on the 1-5 Larks in a 7 pm kickoff.
Barton 3, Pratt 1
Pratt 1 0 – 1
Barton 1 2 – 3
Pratt – Jordan Stubbings (Aaron Grant), 12:05
Barton – Luca Perez (Mario Ramirez), 24:23
Barton – Julio Vicente (unassisted), 60:53
Barton – Angel Lopez (Vinicius Monteiro) 73:12