CLEBOURNE, Texas – National Tournament bound.
That is where the Barton men’s soccer team is headed after completing a 2-0 weekend at the Plains District Championships in Texas this past weekend.
The Cougars actually wrapped up an NJCAA bid with their win on Friday, defeating Western Texas 4-0 in the semifinals finals. The Plains District is one of four districts to send two teams this year on a rotating basis.
But just wrapping up that bid was not enough. Barton still had some unfinished business in the form of fellow Jayhawk Conference school and unbeaten Cowley.
Barton, ranked No. 6 in the nation, scored twice early on the way to handing No. 5 Cowley its first loss of the year and wrapping up the Plains District title. Barton defeated Cowley, 5-1, on a cool, windy night at The Depot in a suburb just south of Dallas.
Barton is now 18-1-2 on the season while Cowley drops to 17-1. This will be Barton’s fourth trip to the NJCAA Championships and the first since 2010. Barton finished third that year, the highest in school history.
The Cougars wasted little time in taking control of the game against the Jayhawk East champion.
Nicolas Torres, who had a big game Friday, got the Cougars going on Saturday as well. Torres gave Barton a 1-0 lead when he rebounded his own shot and put it in the net for a 1-0 lead just more than 10 minutes into the title game.
Just two minutes later, Barton led 2-0. Sora Wakabayashi scored his third goal of the season when he finished from Torres. Torres had received the pass from Victor Gonzalez and found Wakabayshi for the goal.
At that point, only 13 minutes into the match, things looked pretty good for the Cougars. Barton had allowed two or more goals in just four matches all season.
By halftime that lead reached 3-0 and things were looking real good for Barton. Roberto Hernandez made it 3-0 with 10 minutes left in the opening half when he and Mario Magana combined on a give-and-go.
Ignacio Palacio got Cowley on the board in the second half, scoring on a free kick 10 minutes into the half.
But what glimmer of hope the Tigers had vanished when Magana put the nail in the coffin with just more than 16 minutes left in the game.
Barton got behind the Cowley defense on a long pass. Diego Ribeiro’s shot was blocked by Magana was there for the rebound to give Barton a 4-1 lead.
Barton would add another goal after the Cowley goalkeeper found himself a good distance from the goal when he turned the ball over, leaving the net empty. Barton made him pay when Magana scored his second goal with just nine minutes left from 30 yards out.
Barton secured their trip to the National Tournament with a 4-0 win over Western Texas Friday afternoon.
The Cougars scored four times in the opening half on the way to the win and NJCAA berth.
Robin Rouaud got Barton on the board with a goal just seven minutes into the contest, The freshman from France scored on a header off of a Torres corner kick.
Torres than made it 2-0 with his second goal of the year with 25 minutes left in the half.
The Cougars slammed the door over a 2-minute stretch later in the half.
Gabriel Arreas scored his 19th goal of the season on a cross from Torres with 15 minutes left in the half. For Torres it was his fifth assist as the freshman from Chile had a part of the Cougars’ first three goals.
Just two minutes later, Chris Camilli made it 4-0 off an assist from Damia Viader.
From there, Barton was in cruise control. The shutout was the 12th of the season for the Barton defense but the first since a 0-0 tie with Cloud in four matches ago.
The NJCAA Tournament will take place Nov. 12-17 at the Daytona State Soccer Stadium in Florida. The bracket will be announced this week.
Plains District Championship
6 Barton 5, 5 Cowley 1
Barton 3 2 – 5
Cowley 0 1 – 1
Barton – Torres, 11:00
Barton – Wakabayashi (Gonzalez, Torres), 13:00
Barton – Hernandez (Magana), 35:00
Cowley – Palacio, 55:00
Barton – Magana, 74:00
Barton – Magana, 81:00
Plains District Semifinals
6 Barton 4, Western Texas 0
W Texas 0 0 – 0
Barton 4 0 – 4
Barton – Rouaud (Torres), 7:00
Barton – Torres, 20:00
Barton – Arreas (Torres), 30:00
Barton – Camilli (Viader), 32:00
NJCAA Men’s Plains District
At Cleburne, Texas
Semifinals - Nov 2
5 Cowley 1, Rose State 0
6 Barton 4, Western Texas 0
Finals – Nov 3
6 Barton xx, 5 Cowley 0
Barton (18-1-2) win Plains District Championship
Cowley (17-1) also advances to NJCAA Tournament