The No. 8 ranked Barton Community College men's soccer team received crushing news Tuesday from the NJCAA in a ruling pertaining a suspended player resulting in the Cougars' exit from the Region VI/Plains District post-season tournament.
The ruling stemmed from accumulations of yellow cards, i.e., in-game misconduct fouls issued by a game's referee, with a player to serve a game suspension after five yellow cards in the course of the season. For the Cougars, a player who had accumulated five cards unknowingly participated in a pair of contests resulting in the NJCAA implying the forfeiture of the affected games.
On Sunday, Barton defeated Neosho County Community College 1-0 in first round action on the pitch but as result of the forfeiture, the Panthers advance to the next round to take on Johnson County Community College.
In addition to the Neosho County contest, Barton also forfeits its October 16th game at Cloud County Community College, a game the Cougars lost 1-0 on an 87th minute goal.
In continuance of the forfeitures, the player will serve a two game suspension while Head Coach Jordan Rideout tasked a four-game suspension.
While both have suspensions to serve, the ruling does not restrict Barton from participating in the national tournament should they received the at-large. Should Barton's season be complete after the selection of bids, suspensions would carry into the 2020 start of season.
Still alive to possibly receive one of four national at-large berths, the now 11-3-1 Cougars will await for possible good news in returning to the national stage where Barton finished runner-up at the 2018 NJCAA National Tournament.
The Cougars definitely built their case for serious national at-large bid consideration on a season's body of work, as the Jayhawk West Champions trailed just 41 out of the 1,370 minutes played (2.9%). Ranking the second best defense in the nation, Barton surrendered just seven goals on the year, five coming in two of their fifteen games, as the defense kept the opponent scoreless for 929:01 minutes of action in recording a program all-time best nine consecutive shutouts.
Entering the national rankings at No. 15 in week two of the season, Barton jumped into the top ten two weeks later, reaching as high as No. 5 on October 7. Following Sunday's victory on the pitch, the national pollsters climbed the Cougars up two spots in the latest Division I poll released Monday.
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