In a spirited battle between two perennial powers of the Jayhawk Conference, the #14 ranked Barton Community College men's soccer team was knocked from the top of the standings Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 loss at nationally receiving votes Cloud County Community College. The Cougars took the early lead in Concordia with Cloud County getting the tying goal less than a minute later before netting the game winner with six minutes left in first half action. The loss drops Barton to 2-1 in Jayhawk play and 6-2 on the season while Cloud County stays unbeaten in conference at 4-0 and to 5-1 overall. Barton's next action will come Tuesday in doubleheader action at the Cougar Soccer Complex in hosting Hesston College at 4:00 p.m. being preceded by the women's contest at 2:00 p.m.
Colin Roemer gave Barton the early lead racing past the T-bird defenders receiving Carlos Castrejon's long pass before launching rocket to far post for his tenth goal of the year and giving the Georgia freshman his first collegiate assist as seventeen minutes had clicked off the clock.
The lead was short lived as Cloud County organized and attacked off the restart as Hakeem Smith worked down the right side sending in a cross. Meanwhile, doing his own maneuvering through the middle of the defense, Rafael Santos beat the Cougars to the pass hammering in the equalizer just thirty-three seconds later for the equalizer.
Cloud County earned what would stand as the game winner with just under six to play in the first frame as Wanes Hobat's cross was uncleared with Luiz Garcia doing his best Santos impersonation weaving through the defense to knock in the go-ahead.
As the bid for the early driver's seat for the conference crown was unfolding, so was the spirited play on the field with numerous opportunities for each team.
The golden opportunity for Barton came at the 7:22 mark left in the contest but the point on the clock also marked a solemn moment on the field. With a foul on the T-birds occurring just inside the penalty box, a 10-15 minute delay would ensue as a Cloud County player would eventually be carted off to an ambulance. Following the stoppage, Roemer's penalty kick was denied the net as the T-birds' Charles Albuquerque came up with the biggest of his eight saves. Barton would take three more cracks at the net in the waning minutes but each time Albuquerque provided the barrier as the T-birds would win their fourth in a row in the fierce series.
The Cougars outshot Cloud County in the contest 17-7 with eight being rejected for a score while the Barton defense despite the loss allowed just four total shots to reach the frame, each coming in first half play.