The Barton Community College men's soccer team rattled the nets in each half for a 2-1 victory over Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa Sunday afternoon on the steamy turf of the Cougar Soccer Complex. Shaking off the disappointment of Thursday's last second road loss, the Cougars improved to 4-1 on the season in their final tune-up for conference play while NOC falls to 2-2. Barton's next opponent comes Wednesday as the Cougars travel to unbeaten Dodge City Community College, a Conquistador squad who knocked off NOC in Tonkawa on Thursday, riding high into the 7:00 p.m. kick-off at Memorial Stadium with a 2-0-2 record on the season.
Ezra Armstrong perhaps had his break out game as the Overland Park, Kansas, freshman notched not only his first collegiate goal but also provided the eventual game winner. Playing a two man game with Sora Wakabayashi, Armstrong took Wakabayashi's one-touch in breaking behind the defense burying the upper-90 far post with just 3:57 left in first half action. Another perfect play set up for the game winner, this one coming from Jose Escobedo as the Salina sophomore placed a perfect cross to the doorstep as a leaping Armstrong pounded the net for two goal Cougar advantage.
The game took an interesting turn with 10:41 to play as the Cougars were whistled for foul in the box setting up a Rojay Smith penalty kick that narrowly squeezed the kick between the diving Luciano Trasolini's reach and the goalpost cutting the deficit in half. Barton maintained its composure to handle the Mavericks' urgency, controlling most of the remaining possession and eliminating any serious threats.
The Cougars outshot its fifth straight opponent to begin the season, launching eighteen as the defensive limited NOC to just six shots as both goalkeepers had highlight performances in the contest with Trasolini and the Mavericks' Bryson Reed each rejecting four on frame.