The chances of a defensive battle Saturday afternoon at the Barton Soccer Complex were pretty high.
After all, Barton had given up just six goals in six games - three of those against ranked foes and two teams inside the Top 5. Neosho came to campus allowing just eight goals in five games. That total is ballooned a bit by a 3-0 loss to unbeaten and East-leading Coffeyville. A team Barton lost to as well, 1-0.
Scoring goals did indeed come at a premium. In fact it took more than 75 minutes for the first goal to be scored. That goal would prove to be the only goal as Barton escaped with a 1-0 win.
For the Cougars it is the third shutout of the year but the first since the second game of the year.
Barton’s win over Neosho was the first in the Jayhawk for the Cougars, who are now 1-1. Barton is 3-3 overall. Neosho is still looking for its first conference win at 0-2-2. The Panthers are 2-2-2 overall.
The scoreboard read all 0’s in the scoring columns until Barton’s Victor Lucca changed that with just 14:09 to play in the contest.
After more than 75 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Cougars forced a turnover and Genildo Postimo found Lucca. Lucca went far post for the first and only score of the match. It was the fourth of the season for the freshman from Brazil.
The Cougars controlled most of the match, getting off 20 shots to just three for Neosho. Most of those shots, 13, came with a 20 mph wind at Barton’s back in the second half.
But only two of those 13 shots in the final 45 minutes were on goal. And it took until the last one to finally find the net.
The Cougars will be at home for the fourth straight game Wednesday as Dodge City pays a visit to the Barton Soccer Complex.
The Conquistadors are off to a slow start at 1-3, losers of three straight. Dodge has last back-to-back games to No. 15 Cowley and Kansas City Kansas heading into the contest at Barton.
Kick is set for 3 pm.
Barton 1, Neosho 0
Neosho 0 0 - 0
Barton 0 1 - 1
Barton - Victor Lucca (Genildo Postimo), 75:51