WICHTIA – It wasn’t the way things are supposed to go in a championship game.
That title game is supposed to have two teams going full strength to the end to determine a winner.
Unfortunately for the Barton women’s soccer team, that was the case.
A pair of red cards left the Cougars two players down over the final 23 minutes of action.
Butler scored a pair of goals during that time to beat Barton, 3-1, and earn the Region VI women’s soccer title.
“I was extremely proud of the girls for playing tough all game, especially through the circumstances,” Barton Coach Ousmane Camara said. “We’ve beat nationally ranked teams this year but it’s hard to compete with two key players being taken from the game in situations I don’t understand.
“I feel bad for the girls. They worked so hard this year and are national tournament worthy. It’s just really sad how their season came to an end like this.”
Barton season ends at 12-4-1. The chances of an at-large bid to the NJCAA Championships are extremely slim.
Butler, the fourth seed from the Jayhawk East, completed an improbable run through the Region VI and takes an 8-8 mark to the NJCAA tournament.
The controversy stems from action midway through the second half.
With the teams tied at 1-all, Barton’s Bruna Pereira was called for a yellow card for a tackle. Pereira questioned the call and received another yellow card, which resulted in a red card and her ejection, putting the Cougars a player down.
A couple minutes later, it grew to two players down.
Francesca Martella was dribbling through the Butler defense when she was body checked and went to the turf.
But instead of getting a foul on Butler, Martella was given a yellow card for flopping. She had received a yellow card in the first, making her second a red and she, too, was ejected.
Now two players down and still 23 minutes to play, the Cougars had their work cut out for them.
Barton was able to keep Butler off the scoreboard for a while, but the outmanned Cougars eventually allowed Butler the go-ahead goal with 12:55 left in the game.
Butler would add on another goal with just less than six minutes to play for the 3-1 final.
Barton outshot Butler and for the most part dominated play until the final 23 minutes down a pair of players.
But those red cards proved to be too much for Barton. Butler put four shots on goal – three in the final 23 minutes – two of which found the net.
Butler 3, Barton 1
Butler 1 2 – 3
Barton 1 0 – 1
Barton –Melendez (Lee), 34:11
Butler – Clark (MacDonald), 41:20
Butler – Wolecki (Amaya), 77:05
Butler – MacDonald (unassisted), 84:03
Region VI Playoffs
E4 Butler 2, W1 Cowley 1
W3 Hutch 3, E2 Coffeyville 1
E1 KCK 3, W4 Dodge 1
W2 Barton 1, E3 Johnson 0
Saturday, May 22
E4 Butler 1, W3 Hutch 0
W2 Barton 2, E1 KCK 1
Sunday, May 23
E4 Butler 3, W2 Barton 1
Butler (8-8) advances to NJCAA Championships