Sunday's second round Region VI playoff game in Chanute was everything a soccer fan could wish for in a clean contested double overtime battle as the Barton Community College men's soccer team came out on top 2-1 at Neosho County Community College. The sixth straight win improves the region's third seeded Cougars to 14-5-1 on the year while ending the school record season of second seeded Neosho County at 15-4-1.
Next up for Barton will be a Thursday trip to Topeka's Hummer Park for the Plains District Semifinals with the Cougars set to play Region 5 Champion Ranger College (9-2) in the 4:00 p.m. game. Awaiting the victor for Friday's noon championship game will be the winner of the 6:30 p.m. semifinal between the Region 2 representative Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa (12-4-1) and Kansas City Kansas Community College (10-3-1) as the Blue Devils knocked off top-seeded and No. 7 Cloud County Community College with a 1-0 overtime victory in Concordia.
Following a scoreless first half battle, Sora Wakabayashi gave Barton a lead just two minutes into the second frame streaking past the defensive line before sending a rocket across the box ricocheting off far post into the net for the freshman from Japan's sixth net shaker of the year.
The lead was short lived as the Panthers battled back with Jose Garcia sending a chip shot across the box finding inside far post just two minutes later for his fourth goal in the last two games.
Both teams dodged bullets throughout the contest with Barton net tender Luciano Trasolini and the Panthers' Moussa Sy turning back multiple offensive opportunities.
The near miss theme continued into the first golden goal frame with Neosho the first to miss on two quality chances while the Cougars had a pair including a near own goal if not for the quick reflexes of Sy.
It took Barton just 1:25 into the second overtime to send a joyous Cougar bench to the corner of the field for a rousing celebration. Set up by Toranosuke Abe's long ball, Benjamin Zamora outdueled a Panther defender for the pass before sending a through ball across the box where Colin Roemer one-timed his 12th goal of the year for the game winner.