TOPEKA – It is never easy to have a season come to an end in the post-season. It is even harder when that loss come by way of a shoot-out.
But this one will be even tougher for the Barton men’s soccer team to swallow.
The Barton men’s soccer team took on Ranger (Texas) College in the Plains District semifinals Thursday at Hummer Park in Topeka.
The Cougars were just one minute from a trip to the title game with the clock winding down in regulation.
But a late Ranger goal sent the game to one, then two overtimes and eventually a shoot-out to determine the winner with the match tied at 1-all.
Ranger won that shoot-out, scoring on the first four attempts while Barton missed on two of its first four. That advanced Ranger to the Championship match and ended Barton’s season in a shoot-out for the second straight year.
Each team made their first two shoot-out goals. Ranger took the lead 3-2 on the third shooter and when Barton’s fourth shooter missed, Ranger had a chance to seal the win.
When Kyle Edwards made the fourth attempt for Ranger, the season was over the Cougars.
That ended the season for the No. 16 ranked Cougars with a 14-5-2 record.
Barton took a 1-0 lead when Gabriel de Almeida scored with just more than 10 minutes left in the contest. Almeida scored on an assist from Ezra Armstrong.
The Cougars were within a minute of moving on when Chris Harrison got free on the backside of the Barton defense and found the net to even the game at 1-all with just 1:14 left in regulation.
The Cougars nearly won the game at the end of the second overtime, getting off three shots – two on goal – with just more than two minutes left. But none found the net.
Neither team could muster much of a threat in the opening half. Barton was able to get off five shots, putting three on goal while Ranger had just three shot of which one was on goal.
Ranger will take on the winner of the Rose State and Kansas City Kansas match late Thursday night for the right to advance to the NJCAA Championships in Prescott, Ariz.
Ranger 1, Barton 1
Ranger 0 1 0 0 – 1
Barton 0 1 0 0 – 1
Barton – Gabriel de Almeida (Ezra Armstrong), 79:45
Ranger – Chris Harrison, 88:46
Ranger advances in Shoot-out 4-2