A second half rally came up just short Saturday at the Cougar Soccer Complex as the 16th ranked Barton Community College women's soccer team fell 3-2 to 15th ranked Butler Community College.
The Cougars drop to 7-2-1 in the Jayhawk and 10-2-1 while Butler improves to 8-1 on and 10-4-1 overall.
With just three games left on the regular season slate, two of those come on the road beginning next Saturday at Dodge City Community College in a 5:00 p.m. kick. The Cougars will then play their final regular season home game on Wednesday, October 20, hosting Garden City Community College before closing out at Cowley College on Saturday, October 23.
Barton took the lead on what could be viewed as one of the Cougars' most spectacular plays of the season coming 11:26 into the contest. Following a Butler foul ten yards into Grizzly territory, Seulgi Lee sent a long free kick just over the wall of players inside the six with Francesca Martella maneuvering behind for an airborne one-touch volley for her third net rattler of the year in finishing off Lee's team leading 7th assist.
Critical mistakes cost the Cougars big in allowing goals including the game tying opportunity coming just ninety seconds later as an errant defensive clear resulted in easy clean up duty for Butler's Kim McAlpine.
The goal halted a four game scoreless streak stretching across 371:36 minutes of action for reigning NJCAA goalkeeper of the week Nia Baker and her defense.
Nine minutes later the Grizzlies would go on top for good as the Cougars failed to clear a pair of Madeline Boman header attempts resulting in Natalie Amaya finally finding the net for the 2-1 lead with 23:27 remaining.
The Grizzlies doubled up their lead with 16:15 before the halftime break thanks to the nifty combination of Nayeli Reveles' cross and Carsyn Soto's through ball setting up Morgan Houston for the eventual game winner.
Getting the wind advantage for second half play, Barton had some opportunities to cut into the deficit but Butler also performed well going against the wind as neither team was able to split the pipes for the first thirty-four minutes.
Nicole Thorp helped change the tone, breaking through a line of defenders into the eighteen. Despite unable to get a shot off following the Grizzly recovery, the poked away ball was caught by Dahien Cabrera to launch a low strike towards frame. Butler's Ashton Conley rejected the first attempt but Cabrera was not to be denied on the second attempt in sending a one-touch rebounded missile to the back of the net for her third of the season slicing the deficit in half.
Tempo increased on both sides of the pitch with the Cougars getting the better of the final minutes, launching three shots towards the frame and three corner kicks but couldn't produce the game tying net rattler.
Eleven of Butler's shots came with the first half wind advantage in outshooting the Cougars 14-10 as each team put seven on target. Conley picked up the victory in net turning back five while Baker's four saves were not enough in falling to 10-2-1 on the season.