The Barton Community College women's soccer team had its Jayhawk West title hopes dampened Wednesday afternoon at the Cougar Soccer Complex as Cloud County Community College moved into the driver's seat with a 5-0 victory.
The loss drops the 19th ranked Cougars into second place at 11-1-1 and 12-3-1 overall while Cloud County, who is receiving votes in the latest NJCAA Division I poll, takes over the top spot in the West at 12-1-0 improving to 14-1 on the year.
With one game remaining in the regular season, the Cougars have become big fans of Hutchinson Community College as two scenarios need to take place for Barton to earn its first conference title since 2008. First on the docket is for Barton to win at Northwest Kansas Technical College on Saturday in a 2:00 p.m. kick-off while simultaneously the Cougars need the Blue Dragons (9-2-1, 11-2-1) to knock off Cloud County in Concordia.
The T-birds took the lead and netted the eventual game winner 13:52 into the game as Barton was called for a penalty in the box resulting in Franciele Cupertino striking near post on the ensuing kick. Fourteen minutes later Fernanda Peinado
Barton had two great opportunities to tie it up in the next few minutes, the first coming on Larissa Fagundes' 25-yard boot to the top shelf being deflected by the T-birds' goalkeeper Chelsea Cordice. With the ball bouncing straight back down with spin headed into goal, a heads up play by the T-bird defense cleared it away. Forty seconds later Rayssa Neres worked past a defender to blast far post but Cordice once again came up with a quality save to keep the sheet clean.
Cloud County doubled up their lead with 17:19 left in first half action as the Cougar defense was unable to clear a pinballed loose ball off a corner kick with Fernanda Peinado delivering from point black range to the far post.
Stifling defense from Cloud County including the continued physical play especially on Neres, allowed just four Barton shots in second half play.
On the offensive side, the T-birds speed and Barton unable to clear another loose ball resulted in the first of Yasmidt Mendoza's two goals coming on a toe-in from the doorstep with 20:38 remaining. Eight minutes later Mendoza went airborne to head in Cupertino's twenty-two yard free kick.
Reyna Gonzalez took on eleven T-bird shots on frame including denying Cupertino's 1v1 mid-way through the half but Aroa Nieto was able to win the one on one with 4:43 remaining after slipping behind the defense putting the final nail in the 5-0 coffin.