It’s pretty much down to a 2-team race for the second spot in both the Jayhawk West and Region VI standings in men’s soccer.
Barton and Pratt are locked in a tight battle with just four games left heading into Monday. Barton did it part to stay neck-and-neck for that second spot with a 2-1 win over Garden City at the Barton Sports Complex.
The win improved the Cougars to 4-3 in the Jayhawk West with one conference game remaining. Pratt is also 4-3. Barton’s final game in the West is against Dodge City (0-5-1) while Pratt is at Cloud County (6-0-1).
The situation is similar in the region standings for playoff seeding as well. Barton is currently 6-3 with three games to play. Those three are against the bottom three teams in the region. Pratt is 7-3 with games at Cloud and last place Hesston.
Things did not get off to a great start Monday as Garden City’s Felipe Andrade stole a corner kick the Cougars were not able to clear and drove it in the net from 25 yards out just 7:31 into the contest.
That would be a defensive mistake the Cougars would not repeat. Barton held the Broncbusters off the board the final 82:29 of the game.
Meanwhile, Barton did just enough on offense to pick up the win.
Barton didn’t trail long as Lucas Alves continued his stellar play. Alves evened the score at 1-all just two minutes later when he took a pass from Julio Vicente, faked a shot then buried the ball in the net. It was the sophomore’s fourth goal in the past three games.
The game remained tied through halftime and into the early stages of the second half. Barton took its first lead of the game with 34:45 to play.
Alves sent in a corner kick that Kota Endo headed just high, hitting the crossbar. Johnny on the spot was Boris Tonzi, a defenseman up for the corner kick. Tonzi leapt and headed the ball directly back to the goal and past the Broncbusters’ keeper for a 2-1 lead.
The first goal of the season for Tonzi proved to the game winner for the Cougars, now 8-3 on the year.
Hesston will come the Barton Sports Complex Thursday as the Cougars strive for that second seed. Hesston is 2-9-1 on the season.
Barton 2, Garden City 1
Garden City 1 0 – 1
Barton 1 1 – 2
Garden – Felipe Andrade (unassisted), 7:31
Barton – Lucas Alves (Julio Vicente), 9:29
Barton – Boris Tonzi (Kota Endo), 55:15