For the fourth consecutive year the Barton Community College women's soccer team booked a trip to the Region VI semifinals with a decisive 3-0 shutout Saturday at Dodge City Community College in first round action. The fifth seeded Lady Cougars avenged a 2-1 defeat at Dodge City earlier in the season as five freshman accounted for all three second half goals to end the Conquistadors season. The victory was also the second consecutive first round victory for Barton as the Lady Cougars ended Allen County's season last year on a shootout win on the Red Devils home turf. Next up for Barton will be a Thursday trip to Topeka's Hummer Park with the daunting task of trying to knock-off top seeded and No. 6 nationally ranked Butler Community College. Kick-off scheduled for 11:00 a.m. with the winner advancing to Friday's 10:00 a.m. championship against the winner of No. 14 Johnson County Community College and nationally receiving votes Hutchinson Community College.
It took the Lady Cougars fifty-three minutes to break through but then scored three in the next twenty-five minutes. Team stat leaders Jennifer Mendez and Natalie Espino-Kennedy teamed up for the game winner as Espino-Kennedy team tying sixth assist of the season led to Mendez' fifteenth goal for the 1-0 lead with 36:49 left in game.
Fourteen minutes later Fuentes added another to the tally finding fellow Utah native Denise Cuenca on her sixth goal of the season putting the final dagger in the Conquistadors season with 11:43 to play.
The Barton defense was equally impressive on the day as Maria-Elena Garcia came up with seven saves anchoring the defensive line's fourth shutout of the season.
In the season's only meeting with Butler, the Lady Cougars couldn't control a first half onslaught by the Grizzlies in digging a 5-0 deficit in the eventual 6-0 loss in El Dorado back on September 30. History will also not be on the side of Barton as the Lady Cougars have lost five straight to Butler and dating back to 2009. However, the Lady Cougars do own a 2-1 neutral field edge including their last win and playoff meeting coming in the semifinal round as Barton ended Butler's season 1-0 on the same field as Thursday's upcoming game.