The 3rd ranked Barton Community College men's soccer team held on Wednesday for a 4-3 victory over No. 6 Georgia Military College to advance the Cougars to the final four of NJCAA Division I soccer.
The Cougars will play in Friday's 3:00 p.m. national semifinal game against 4th ranked Eastern Florida State College as the Titans defeated 5th ranked Marshalltown Community College 5-3 in penalty kicks.
Gabriel Arraes dished out two assists on the afternoon, the first giving Barton the early lead with the final delivering the game winner with twenty-seven seconds to play. Arraes, whose two points moved the Brazilian sophomore further up the program's single season and career scoring chart, sent a through ball to Nicolas Torres 11:19 into the game giving Barton the early lead.
Seven minutes later the Bulldogs netted the equalizer as Sean Mckeever found the net putting away Kitson Newton's pass.
As been a strength of Barton all year long, the abundance of talent Head Coach Mike Brown has assembled paid dividends as the second wave of Cougars did damage in a hurry.
Stepping on the pitch with twenty-one minutes before half, the second wave put up two goals in less than two minutes with Roberto Hernandez pulling the trigger on both for the freshman from Texas' 5th and 6th assist of the season. The first came with 10:56 left on the clock setting up Damen Marcu's fifth of the year and eighty-six seconds later sent a through ball to a sliding Aidan Hill in rattling the net for the fourth time of the season.
Credit Georgia Military College for fighting back as the Bulldogs' Adam Kennedy sent in a 20-yard strike to cut the deficit in half twelve minutes into the second frame and getting the equalizer with just 3:40 on the clock from Elias Araya.
Due to Georgia's loss on Tuesday and tie breaking procedures, the Cougars could afford a one goal loss to advance to the semifinals.
As time was ticking down towards a Golden Goal overtime period, the Arraes broke through the defense sending a through ball to Toranosuke Abe as the sophomore from Japan delivered the game winner with just twenty-seven ticks on the clock.
Barton is in the national semifinal for just the second time in program history, oddly coming against the man who led the Cougars to its highest national finish of 3rd place in the 2010. Eastern Florida's Head Coach Oliver Twelvetrees, who guided the Cougars for seven seasons (2006-2012) including consecutive national tournament appearances in the 2009 and 2010, is making his third national appearance since taking over the Titans in 2013.