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Cougar offense explodes in win over Maple Woods
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At times the Barton women’s offense has struggled this year. At times it’s been pretty good.
And then there are times when it has been very good. Tuesday afternoon was one of those times it was very good.
Barton matched it season high in goals with an 8-1 win over Maple Woods (Mo). It matched an 8-0 win over Neosho County earlier in the month.
“It was a good non-conference win for us,” Barton Coach Aaron Avila said. “We were able to score goals and hopefully that will give us more confidence going into our final two conference games.”
It took the Cougars just 2:15 to get on the board and the offense never stopped as Barton improved to 6-6 on the season. Five of those six losses have been to teams ranked in the Top 20.  Maple Woods is now 1-12.
Jennifer Mendez put the Cougars up just minutes into the game when she scored on a Denise Cuenca assist. That would just be act one Mendez.
The freshman forward from Utah scored her second goal 10 minutes later on a pass from Natalie Espino-Kennedy. She put the hat on with just less than 13 minutes to play in the half when she stole a pass near midfield, dribbled past the Maple Woods defense and beat the Monarch keeper to the far post.
That gave Barton a 3-0 lead and gave Mendez a team-leading 11 goals this season. It was her second hat trick of the season.
Edith Scarlett-Real, the Cougars leading scorer last season, scored her third goal of the season just prior to half to give Barton a 4-0 lead at the intermission. Espino-Kennedy picked up her second assist of the game.
The Cougars continued to pour it on the second half. Barton scored twice in the opening 10 minutes to push it to 6-0. Evelyn Rodriguez-Lerma and Rachel Craft both scored unassisted goals to start the final half.
Espino-Kennedy and Brook Russell both added goals for the 8-0 final.  
McKenna Ferreira drew the start in goal for Barton and picked up her second win.
Now focus goes back to the Jayhawk Conference race the Region VI seedings.
While five of the six losses have been to ranked teams, it is that only other loss that may put Barton on the road to start the Region VI playoffs.
Barton is in a fight with Dodge City and Garden City for that fourth spot and a home match. Barton’s 2-1 loss at Dodge is keeping the Cougars from controlling their own destiny for that fourth spot.
The Cougars will close out the regular season with a home match at 2 p.m. Saturday against Coffeyville then a road trip to KCK Monday. Coffeyville is 3-5 in the Jayhawk and 6-10 overall. KCK is 2-5-1 and 4-7-1.