Rayssa Neres and Felipe Baeza of the Barton Community College soccer programs have been named the NJCAA recipients of player and goalkeeper awards respectively for performances last week in leading their squads to three victories each.
Neres, the Jayhawk Conference leading attacker piled up the numbers this past week in leading Barton to the three wins including a 5-1 victory at 15th ranked Cloud County on Saturday to move the Cougars into a first place tie atop the West Division. The freshman from Brazil knocked in two goals and an assist in Monday's win hosting Garden City, matched a program fourth best single game effort of twelve points (5 goals, 2 assists) in Wednesday's victory over Pratt, then added seven more points against the 15th ranked T-birds with three goals and assist. Knocking in the eventual game winner just 1:10 in second half action, Neres tacked on another goal twelve minutes later, then following a T-bird goal, distributed and scored the final two goals for a 5-1 lead in the 77th minute.
The ten goal and four assist week increased Neres' conference leading totals to twenty goals and forty-eight points while ranking in the top six nationally and climbs into the program top ten list in both categories.
Now tied atop the Jayhawk West standings with Hutchinson at 5-0-1, Neres and her Cougar squad are now 6-2-1 on the season heading into today's 2:00 p.m. kick-off hosting Northwest Kansas Technical College (2-4-0, 2-4-1).
Rejecting three Garden City shots on Monday, Baeza was simply stellar in turning four shots away Wednesday against Pratt with point blank and leaping saves to keep the Cougars' sheet clean for the sixth time of the season. The sophomore from Chile was equally impressive in Saturday's big game in Concordia with the exception of an unlucky break of having a nineteen yard free kick to the back post bounce out of the mitts resulting in the Cloud County rebound goal.
Baeza and his defensive line's two shutouts and the road win at Cloud County moved the Cougars to the top of the Jayhawk West standings at 4-0-1 and a jump back into the national poll at No. 17 with an 8-1-1 record. The Cougars follow today's women action with kick-off at approximately 4:15 p.m. in also hosting Northwest Kansas Technical College (1-4-0, 1-6-0).