The Barton Community College men's soccer team dominated both halves of play Tuesday afternoon at Cougar Soccer Complex in a runaway 7-0 victory over Hesston College. Bouncing back from a hard fought road loss on Saturday, the revitalized Cougars put three on the board in first half play against a 25-30mph south wind before tacking on four more in the final frame with another waved off at the buzzer. Dropping four spots in the latest national poll, the No. 18 ranked Cougars improve to 7-2 on the season and 3-1 in region play while dropping Hesston to 1-2 regionally and 5-3 overall. Barton will next travel to Goodland, Kansas, on Friday, taking on Northwest Kansas Technical College in a 5:00 p.m. (CT) kick-off against the 2-3-1 Mavericks.
Trevor Ssemakula put his name in elite company of Barton soccer history with a three goal performance, joining twenty-five other Cougars with a trifecta of goals. The Australia freshman began his day with the eventual game winner, netting his first collegiate goal striking lower-90 inside the far post from Carlos Castrejon's perfect through ball with 23:30 remaining in first half action. Less than minutes later the 5'4" dynamo just missed his second goal off the near post but thirty seconds later finished off Benjamin Zamora's fourth assist of the year. Launching just one more shot in the game, Ssemakula made the most of it completing his hat trick with a back side header netting Steve Taylor first collegiate assist coming on a perfectly back post placed cross with seven minutes into the second half.
After Ssemakula had staked Barton to the two goal lead, it was Gabriel Arraes De Almeida's turn to collect his first collegiate net shaker as the Brazil freshman made his Cougar debut. Set up by Sora Wakabayashi's fourth assist of the season, De Almeida struck the center of the net with 3:09 on the clock as Barton dominated first half action with thirteen shots.
As the defense ahead of Felipe Baeza making his debut in net pitched a perfect game allowing zero shots to leave the foot of the fourth best offense in the region, Head Coach Mike Brown continued his constant subbing and emptying the bench throughout second half play as twenty-seven players saw turf time in the high-90 degree heat. The substitution did little to slow down the talented group of Cougars as Barton would tack on four more goals with a fifth being wiped off the board as the buzzer sounded.
Victor Gonzalez kick-started the second half twelve shot assault just over three minutes into the frame, recording his second goal of the season with a backside header putting away Angel Lopez' corner kick. Following Ssemakula's hat trick goal three minutes later, Lopez would pull the string again from the same left corner to record his second assist of the Wichita sophomore's season with Wakabayashi rising up for the mid-net header posting the freshman from Japan's third goal of the year as the quick strike Cougars doubled their halftime lead in less than ten minutes.
The final goal came just under twenty-five minutes to play on perhaps the hardest strike of the game with Filippo Reggio launching a rocket just outside the eighteen to secondo palo upper-90 for the Italian freshman's second segnare of the season.
The defensive shutout was the third of the season for the Cougars in shutting down the Lark offense as Barton lowered their goals against average to just .88 to rank 17th in the NJCAA.