The semifinal matchup everyone wanted to see is now set.
The Barton Community College women’s soccer team did their part on Saturday afternoon, surviving the always dangerous opening round with a 2-0 win over Allen County to start the postseason at the Barton Sports Complex.
The win moved Barton to semifinal action in Topeka on Thursday, where Barton will meet up with Johnson County.
Both teams finished tied for second in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference this season with 11-1-1 marks. The two battled to a 2-2 tie in Overland Park late in the regular season.
“It was a very tough game and Allen played extremely hard,” Barton head coach Aaron Avila said. “Our girls played well for the most part and created lots of chances, but did struggle finishing opportunities.
“It’s always tougher to beat a team in the regional tournament. Neither team wants their season to end and both try to leave everything on the field.”
The game was determined on Saturday in just a few minutes sandwiched around halftime.
Barton didn’t score until the final minutes of the opening half on a late Catlin Simon goal with just more than two minutes to play in the half.
Mariana Poveda assisted on the goal. Great Bend High School product Stephanie Lomas kept the score at 1-0 with a great save in goal in the final seconds before intermission.
Then to start the second half, Molly Hausmann snagged a rebound and put the ball in net in the opening minute, making it a 2-0 lead and giving the Lady Cougars some breathing room.
That would be all the scoring the contest would see as Allen County’s Keelie Arbuckle stopped some great efforts in goal to keep the game at 2-0.
The Red Devils, meanwhile, never really challenged the Barton net.
“Our girls pretty much controlled the rest of the second half,” Avila said. “But we struggled finishing chances and were fortunate enough to play well defensively and keep Allen County from scoring any goals.”
The Lady Cougars controlled the ball, getting off 24 shots, 15 on goal. Allen had seven shots, five on goal, and Lomas made all five saves.
“Overall, I am pleased with our team’s effort and am proud they battled all game and did not concede a goal,” Avila said.
Barton is now part of a semifinal roster of teams that has some power.
The Lady Cougars are one of three teams ranked in the NJCAA, coming in at No. 17. Their semifinal foe, Johnson County, is ranked No. 10, while the highest-ranked team is No. 6 Butler — the Jayhawk Conference champion and top seed in the region. The other team in the semifinals is Hutchinson.
Barton and Johnson will play the second semifinal game Thursday. Barton will bring a 13-3-1 mark to the contest while Johnson comes in at 16-2-1. Butler went through the Jayhawk Conference unbeaten and is 19-2 overall. Hutchinson is 12-4.
Butler and Hutch will play at 11 a.m. with the Barton-Johnson matchup set for 1:30 p.m. at Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka. The finals will kick off at 10 a.m. on Friday.