TOPEKA — The contest was everything it was billed to be.
Hard-fought, close throughout and down to the wire, but it wasn’t the outcome the Barton Community College women’s soccer was striving for.
Barton’s season came to an end with a 1-0 loss to Johnson County in the semifinals of the NJCAA Region VI tournament on Thursday afternoon at Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka.
An early second-half goal by Johnson was all the scoring as the No. 2 seed Cavaliers moved into the Region VI championship game to take on top seeded Butler.
Barton’s season ends with a 13-4-1 record — still in search of the school’s first Region VI title. The Lady Cougars are ranked No. 16 in the country.
The lone goal came in the 6th minute of the second half when Kelsey Wakefield got the ball past Barton keeper Stephanie Lomas for the 1-0 lead.
The Lady Cougars had some chances later in the half, but were not able to put the ball in the net.
A couple of those came in the final 10 minutes, but Barton could not get the ball past Johnson keeper Janay Stone.
Barton put just three shots on goal the entire 90 minutes, while Johnson put nine on goal — eight of which were saved by Lomas.
It was no doubt a matchup nearly evenly matched clubs.
The two teams both went 11-1-1 during Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference play this season to finish tied for second.
The teams battled to a 2-all tie through a pair of overtimes at Johnson late in the season prior to the 1-0 win by Johnson.
It was the first time all season the Lady Cougars gave up less than two goals and did not win the game, and just the second time all season that Barton was shutout — the first time since the opening weekend of the season.
Johnson, the No. 9-ranked team, will take a 17-2-1 record into the Region VI finals where No. 6 Butler and its 20-2 record await the Cavaliers this morning.
Butler beat Johnson 2-1 in overtime earlier this season. Butler advanced to the finals with a 4-2 win over Hutchinson earlier on Thursday.
The contest was the final one in a Barton uniform for nine Lady Cougars sophomores, including Bianca Barron, who leaves Barton in second place on the all-time goal scoring list with 51.