The Barton Community College men's soccer team scored in each half Wednesday at the Cougar Soccer Complex but had to hold off a late rally in a 2-1 win over Northwest Kansas Technical College. Having already wrapped up a playoff berth, the victory puts the Cougars in sole control of hosting a first round berth by solidifying their region second placing at 6-3-1 while improving to 10-5-1 overall in sending the fourth place Mavericks to 5-5 in region play and 7-6-1 on the season.
With just two regular season games remaining, Barton can lock up the first round home playoff game if the Cougars can win Saturday in a 2:00 p.m. kick-off against Pratt Community College in their final home regular season contest. The Cougars will conclude the regular season on Monday with a trip to Goodland, Kansas, in another match-up against the Mavericks slated for a 5:00 p.m. (CT) kick-off.
The Cougars got on the board with 17:04 left in first half action with Gabriel Arraes De Almeida finding top shelf for his fourth goal of the year in finishing off a perfect Jose Escobedo cross for the Salina sophomore's fifth dish of the year.
Another sophomore to freshman combination setup the eventual game winner midway through the second half as Wichita native Angel Lopez' corner kick to the back post was met for Chris Camilli's third goal of the season in the backside header chalking up Lopez' fourth assist of the year.
With Barton protecting its lead, the contest became more interesting in the final thirteen minutes after the Cougars were whistled on for a penalty in the box during a free kick send in. Barton net protector Luciano Trasolini, who kept the sheet clean on three shots on frame, was outguessed on the ensuing six yard penalty strike as Alfie Tonkin's third goal of the year cut the Maverick deficit to one with 12:13 to play.
From there Trasolini and the defensive effort preserved the win while holding its eleventh opponent to one goal or less out of the Cougars' sixteen contests.