October 2, 2005, was the last time the Barton Community College women's soccer team celebrated a home win over Hutchinson Community College. The streak ended today as the nationally receiving votes Cougar squad fought off a Blue Dragon comeback to earn a hard fought 4-2 victory.
Having tied Hutchinson in the last two meetings, Barton's victory also snapped an eight game streak without a win in the series dating back to a 1-0 Cougar win in Hutchinson in 2013.
Barton now has full control of its destiny in the Jayhawk West with five games remaining including just one home date left on the schedule. Now 8-0-1 atop the standings and 9-2-1 overall, the Cougars own a half game lead over Cloud County while Hutchinson slips to 6-2-1 and 8-2-1 on the year. If Barton continues to take care of business, October 17 in the Cougars' home finale versus the T-birds could possibly be for the conference crown. However, first up on the business agenda is a Saturday trip to Hesston College in a 5:00 p.m. kick-off.
Rayssa Neres continued her assault on opponents and climb up the program single season chart recording her sixth game of three or more goals. Neres and Laura Maria put the Cougars on the board just 5:31 into the contest as Maria found a breaking Neres with a through ball in outracing the defense and the charging Hutchinson goalkeeper Taylor Camp to rattle the net.
Ten minutes later Neres struck again, this time on the receiving end of Johanna Behrens' third assist of the season to again outrace the defense before striking left footed to the near post.
Hutchinson cut the deficit in half with 10:33 remaining on the first half clock as Ashley Venegas netted the first of her two goals on the day in taking the one-touch pass from Sydney Blackwell, weaving through and faking out a few defenders, before beating the Cougar keeper Reyna Gonzalez with an eight yard strike to near post.
If Hutchinson had momentum going into the second half kick-off, Neres quickly put a damper in the spirits being left open in the eighteen in delivering Maria's through ball to the near post to record the first hat trick against Hutchinson since 2012.
Over thirty minutes went by with the defense having the upper hand until Venegas made things interesting cutting the Blue Dragon deficit to one being left alone on the back side in striking Addi White's through ball to the far post with 11:10 on the clock.
Following a Hutchinson foul outside the eighteen on the right flank, Maria pushed the Barton lead back out to two with a minute to play as the reigning conference player of the week headed in Neres' free kick to the back post.
Hutchinson nearly cut the margin back to one with fifteen seconds to play but Gonzalez' diving save followed by a recovery denial of the rebound thwarted the attack and preserved Barton's fourth victory in the twenty-one game series.
Moving up to the third spot in both goals and points of the program's single season chart, Neres' twenty-nine goals currently ranks third nationally while being tied for second with sixty-nine points.
Maria is also making a climb on the historical list in assists, bringing her total to thirteen for a fifth place tying best in the nation and twelfth on the leaderboard with forty-five points.