Just five days ago the Barton Community College women's soccer team found themselves playing from behind early to Garden City Community College before eventually falling 2-1. Today at the Cougar Soccer Complex the Lady Cougars again trailed early but twice rallied from behind before producing the go-ahead goal and holding off the Broncbusters for a 3-2 victory.
Barton's win tightened up the race for second place in the Jayhawk West with the Lady Cougars a half game behind Garden City at 4-3 and 6-5-1 on the season while the Broncbusters drop to 4-2 in conference play and 6-6-1 on the year. The win also moved the Lady Cougars into a third place tie with Garden City in the Region VI standings as the teams jockey for playoff position. Barton's next match will also be a big one, as region second place Hesston College (7-1, 8-2) comes to the home turf for a 2:00 p.m. kick-off on Thursday.
Heading into a sustained 20mph south wind, the Broncbusters struck first with Sierra Rivera leading the charge breaking down the defense. Dribbling past two defenders then a third, Rivera sent a cross into the box where Kelly Ramirez had beaten the backside of the defense before toe striking the ball past goalkeeper Alexandra Capalbo for the early lead just 1:20 into the game.
Hannah Knaak got the equalizer twenty minutes later one-touching a Kayla Metheny throw-in then dribbling through three defenders to get into the box. Breaking ankles with an abrupt stop, Knaak loaded up the boot blasting top third inside the far post for the sophomore's fifth goal of the season.
The Broncbusters regained the lead on a spectacular strike from Amelia Juarez knifing a thirty-five yard free kick through the wind squeezing in top shelf over Capalbo with 18:25 remaining in the first half.
Less than two minutes later a Garden City foul set up the first of two Barton goals coming off a free kick opportunity. Analia Barreto-Torres shaped in a forty-yard kick that one-hopped off Broncbuster keeper Leslie Salcedo's chest leaving Knaak to clean up the loose ball sending it to the back of the net. Five minutes later Knaak nearly picked up a first half hat-trick but her shot off the rebound nullied by her foul on Salcedo.
The game's final goal also came off a free kick situation. With Garden City forming a three-man wall, Kirsty Ashworth sent a thirty yard rocket over the top splitting the gloves of Salcedo for the eventual game winner and second net shaker of the year for the England freshman.
The second half went scoreless but not without opportunity. The Lady Cougars' Maddison Schofield broke loose a few times only to be denied while Garden City produced multiple opportunities launching ten shots with four on frame. Of the four, none came any larger than two with the closing seconds from the Broncbuster offensive attack with Capalbo leaping high to reject a free kick then followed with a one hand deflection off a crossed shot shaping toward back post protecting the one goal margin victory.