ARKANSAS CITY – Finally a game against an opponent not currently ranked in the Top 10.
And with that, finally a win.
The Barton Community College women’s soccer team took the field Saturday in Arkansas City for its first game against a team not currently amongst the tops in the country. The Cougars found themselves 0-2 in those game to start the season.
Barton took advantage as it opened Jayhawk Conference play with a 4-2 win over Cowley College.
“The team is improving and showing potential to play even better as the season progresses,” coach Aaron Avila said of his Cougars. “Cowley was much stronger this year compared to last year due to the addition of several talented international players.”
Barton took a 1-0 lead in the game when Jennifer Mendez scored her first goal of the season less than eight minutes in.
Cowley tied it five minutes later on a Mehler Carval goal and the game remained that way the remainder of the opening half.
In fact the game remained tied for 45 minutes until Nineth Fuentes scored her first goal as a Cougar 13 minutes into the second half on an assist from Hannah Knaak. It was also Knaak’s first assist in a Barton uniform.
The Cougars extended the lead to 3-1 10 minutes later as they started to take control of the game. Mendez scored her second goal of the match off an assist from Dominique Milsap.
Cowley wasn’t going away, though. The Tigers cut it to 3-2 with 3:21 to play in the contest before Natalie Espino-Kenne put the game on ice with a goal in the final two minutes for Barton. It was the freshman’s first goal of the season.
“Our girls were able to control the tempo of the game and finish enough chances to get the win,” Avila said. “It was a good test to open up conference play.”
Barton will host Pratt today before getting a week off. Kick is set for 2 p.m. at the Cougars Sports Complex.