Sophomore Sam McCrillis punched in a hat trick during the Barton Community College men’s soccer team’s win over Johnson County on Wednesday evening at the Barton soccer and track complex.
The Cougars won 5-1 to advance to 10-2-1 overall, 7-0 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. Barton took sole possession of first place in the conference standings.
“It was an impressive attacking performance,” Barton head coach Oliver Twelvetrees said. “Offensively, we created a lot of opportunities and made a lot of goals.
“There’s no doubt that we’ve got firepower. It’s the strength of this team.”
Camara got Barton, which is ranked 10th in the nation, started with 29:14 remaining in the first half.
Cavaliers goalkeeper Guillermo Aguilar pushed out of the goal to challenge Camara one-on-one, but the freshman forward moved around him to place a shot in an open net.
Gonzalo Gelso scored Barton’s second goal seven minutes later, sliding to knock in a cross pass from McCrillis.
McCrillis made it 3-0 heading into halftime on a breakaway after Mauricio Campos placed a pass beyond the final line of Johnson County defenders.
In the second half, McCrillis, who leads the Cougars with 13 goals this season, got a long pass from Gonzalo Gelso for another one-on-one with Aguilar. McCrillis beat the Cavaliers goalie with a low shot to the far corner.
“It feels good, but it’s a team effort,” McCrillis said of getting a hat trick. “If it weren’t for all the guys out here working like they do, pushing every day at practice and stuff, we wouldn’t be anywhere right now.
“It’s just more of a team collaboration. I just sometimes get lucky.”
With 14:52 remaining in the game, a defensive miscue by the Cougars led to an own goal when Barton's David Lazarof slid to stop a cross pass and the ball popped into the net, making it 4-1.
McCrillis scored his third goal on assists from Mariana Gelso and Gonzalo Gelso with 7:54 remaining.
Barton travels to Pratt next Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m.