It was the first true test of the young season for the Barton Community College men’s soccer team. The Cougars passed with flying colors.
Barton scored four times in an 18-minute span in the second half to turn a close game into a blowout. Barton used that spurt to remain unbeaten with a 7-3 win over Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa at the Cougar Sports Complex.
The win gave Barton a 5-0 record on the season while NOC fell to 3-3. Much of that 3-3 mark is against fellow Jayhawk Conference schools. The Mavericks beat Cowley College (1-0), Neosho County (2-1), and Allen County (3-0). They lost to Coffeyville to start the season, 2-1.
“Our men controlled the entire game,” coach Aaron Avila said. “But we gave up three goals. That is something we will have to improve on as we move into our conference schedule.”
Much like the sweep of junior varsity teams over the weekend in Oklahoma, Renan Sousa played a huge role Wednesday.
Sousa scored twice and added a pair of assists for the Cougars. Lucas Alves also added two goals for Barton as the Cougars outshot the Mavericks nearly 2-1.
Sousa put the Cougars on the board first with a goal 15 minutes into the game. The Jayhawk Conference Player of the Week drilled one in the net from 25 yards out on a cross from Sergio Ribeiro.
That lead disappeared 10 minutes later after a great header by Edgar Ramos off a free kick tied the game at 1-all.
The Cougars made it 2-1 with 12 minutes left in the opening half on a Vinicius Monteiro goal from Jiro Barriga Toyama.
The Cougars appeared to have seized control of the match early in the second half on a Lucas Alves goal from Sousa. That gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead with 37:36 to play.
“Our attack is coming along well for this early in the season,” Avila said. “We will keep improving on both sides of the ball and clean up our defensive mistakes.”
It was those defensive mistakes that allowed the game to be tied just eight minutes later.
The Mavericks scored twice in quick fashion to even the contest at 3-all with 29:06 left.
But then it was like a switch clicked for the Cougars.
Orel Taib gave Barton the lead one minute later on Sousa’s second assist. Sousa then made it 5-3 with 17 minutes left on his second goal of the game off a rebound.
The onslaught continued as Alves scored his second goal of the game – his sixth of the season – at the 13:03 mark for a 6-3 lead. The final goal came at the 10:07 mark when Toyama added a goal to his earlier assist scoring on a thru ball from Chris Docherty.
Barton will begin Jayhawk play Saturday with a trip to Arkansas City to take on Cowley College. Cowley is 2-2 on the season and 1-0 in the conference after a 1-0 win over Dodge City Wednesday.