Despite leading at halftime the Barton Community College women's soccer team needed a second half rally Wednesday at the Cougar Soccer Complex, scoring four unanswered goals for a 5-2 victory over No. 20 Northwest Kansas Technical College. The victory puts the Lady Cougars in the driver's seat to qualify for the Region VI playoffs improving to 6-4-2 in region play and 7-5-3 overall while the Mavericks drop to 9-3 and 11-3 on the season.
Barton's win, along with Wednesday's loss by fourth place Dodge City Community College, puts the fifth place Lady Cougars in position to control their playoff destiny. With just two regular season games remaining, Barton will need to win both games to ensure the fourth playoff position out of the West Division. The quest begins with Saturday's 2:00 p.m. kick-off in their final home contest taking on Pratt Community College, followed by a Monday trip to Goodland, Kansas, in a 3:00 p.m. (CT) rematch with the third place Mavericks who will not only be looking for revenge but possibly an opportunity for a first round home playoff berth.
Larissa Fagundes scored two goals on the day giving Barton a first half lead then later providing the equalizer before winding up her five point performance with an assist in putting the cherry on top of the victory. Weaving past three Maverick defenders, Fagundes netted her first by sending rocket to the near post caroming into goal with 17:25 left on the first half clock.
In a matter of seven minutes into second half play, reigning Region VI and NJCAA Division I Player of the Week Adrijane Felix quickly put Northwest Kansas on the scoreboard and into the lead. Converting a penalty kick just 4:54 into the half, Felix broke the tie seven minutes later connecting far post from Alicia Benete to extend her school record goals in a season to twenty-one.
Three minutes later it was Barton who benefitted from a penalty in the box with Fagundes netting her second of the afternoon and team leading thirteenth of the season knotting it up a 2.
Out shooting the Mavericks 25-12 including by ten in second half play, Barton nearly added to its lead ten minutes later with a corner kick goal being wiped off the board on a hand ball call and Fagundes a short time later missing the hat trick sailing an open net rebound over the crossbar.
As the Lady Cougars kept attacking and controlling possession, a great individual effort by Johanna Behrens set up the eventual game winner. Beating a defender and stealing a loose ball in the box, Behrens sent a through ball to mid-box to find a hustling Jordan Bruner who buried her second goal of the year to the top shelf near post with just under twenty minutes left to play.
Behrens played a part in giving Barton some breathing space six minutes later as the freshman from Germany just missed her second goal of the year banging a blast off the far post with a heads up hustling effort by Raley Mantz to bang in the rebound for the Derby freshman's fifth of the season.
The Lady Cougars wound up the scoring less than three minutes on a perfectly executed play. Thamires Lima worked the ball up the left side then found Fagundes near the top of the eighteen to then send a short pass back up the field where Tressa Becker launched a missile from twenty-three yards out to the top shelf deflecting off the leaping keeper's mitts for Hays freshman's third of the year.