GOODLAND – A month ago, the chances of the Barton women’s soccer team finishing in the top four of the west portion of the region and making the post season were slim at best.
But what a month it has been for the Cougars. They capped it off Monday afternoon by earning a spot in the Region VI post season with a 2-0 win over Northwest Tech.
With that win, Barton earned the fourth and final seed from the west. That will put the Cougars (8-6-3) against either Johnson County or Butler to open Region VI play Saturday.
The Cougars edged past Dodge City for that final spot by beating No. 20 ranked Northwest Teach twice over the last six days to end with 26 points to 25 for Dodge City.
Northwest Tech finished third at 27. Cloud County will be the top seed from the West and Hutchinson the second seed.
Over the last month, Barton has gone 6-1-1 – all games that mattered for the post season. That includes the two wins over 20th ranked Mavericks and a tie with Hutch. The only loss was a 2-1 setback to Cloud.
Barton finished the region with a 6-4-2 record. Northwest Tech is now 8-4 in the region and 11-4 overall.
The Cougars took a 1-0 lead on the Mavericks just more than 10 minutes into the contest on a Jessica Simental goal. The freshman from Texas scored her seventh goal of the season 11:20 into the match.
Barton pushed that lead to 2-0 midway through the half when Raley Mantz took a pass from Johanna Behrens and recorded her sixth goal of the season.
The Cougar defense was solid all game long as Barton pitched the shutout.
It was the seventh shutout for Barton on the season but the first since a 10-0 win over Garden City back on Oct. 7.
Barton will take a 4-game winning streak into the Region VI playoffs – the longest of the season.
The Cougars will have to travel Saturday for their first round game at either Johnson or Butler. If Barton wins that match, the Cougars will go to Hummer Park in Topeka the following weekend for the semifinals and finals.
Barton 2, Northwest Tech 0
Barton 2 0 – 2
NW Tech 0 0 – 0
Barton – Jessica Simental, 11:20
Barton – Raley Mantz (Johanna Behrens), 22:48