From the National Junior College Athletic Association website – Cougars take 4th seed into NJCAA National Championships
The Barton Community College men’s soccer team will be the No. 4 seed this week in the NJCAA National Championships getting underway Thursday in Tyler, Texas. In the opening round the Cougars will battle 5th seed Darton College of Georgia at 3 pm. Darton comes into the tournament with a 17-5 record. Barton is currently 19-3-1 and riding an 18-game winning streak following its thrilling 2-1 win over Western Texas in the Plains District Championship.
Kyle Slagle (Bolivar Liberators 2009/Total Demize SC) is a goalkeeper for the Cougars where he played in six games this season, giving up only 2 goals for a 0.48 GAA. You may remember Kyle as a center back for the Liberators but he also specialized in coming in for penalty kick shootouts. He is a full-time goalie now.
Barton has won 18 straight games after starting the season 1-3-1. The Cougar defense has been especially good since the midpoint of the season. Starting with a 4-1 win over Cloud County on Sept 22, the Cougars have allowed just 6 goals in 14 games while winning the Jayhawk Conference, Region VI, and Plains District titles.
Sophomore Kevin Ellis leads that backline, earning Defensive Player of the Year in the conference this season. From that backline spot, Ellis – a front line player most of last year and earlier this year – is still among the team leaders in goal and points. Ellis is 3rd in goals with 9 and 3rd in points with 22. He set a school record last year with 54 points and his 23 goals were 2nd all-time for a season. Ellis has 32 goals for his career, which is also a record.
The Cougars have been led this season by sophomore Ricardo Yeverino’s 18 goals and 42 points followed by freshman Sam McCrillis with 15 goals. McCrillis lead the Cougars in assists with 11 and is just behind Yeverino in points with 41. Yeverino is tied for 2nd with 30 career goals.
Barton is making its 3rd appearance at the national championships, but have yet to win a contest, going 0-2 each previous visit.