By STEVE CARPENTER - Hutchinson CC Sports Information
Esther Karhayu scored two goals to lead the Hutchinson Community College women's soccer team to its first victory over a nationally ranked opponent in seven seasons on Wednesday.
Karhayu scored 2 minutes, 8 seconds into the game to stagger the Cougars and applied the dagger just 17 seconds into second half as Hutchinson shut out the No. 20-ranked Barton Cougars 3-0 at the Salthawk Sports Complex.
The last Hutchinson win over an NJCAA-ranked opponent came on October 17, 2014 when the Blue Dragons defeated No. 15 Butler 2-1 in overtime in El Dorado. The Blue Dragon had lost four-straight games against ranked opponent until Wednesday. The last Blue Dragon win over a nationally ranked team at the Salthawk Sports Complex was just five days before the 2014 Butler game, a 5-1 win over No. 20 NOC-Tonkawa on October 12, 2014.
Hutchinson improved to 4-2-2 overall and in the Jayhawk Conference. Barton dropped to 6-3-1 and 5-3-1. The Blue Dragons are 1-0-1 against the Cougars this season.
Hutchinson will play host to Neosho County at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Salthawk Sports Complex.
The Blue Dragons struck quickly when Marah Franke played a ball into the box that deflected off a Barton defender and Karhayu hammered the ball from about 10 feet into the goal for a 1-0 Hutchinson lead just 2:08 into the contest. Franke and Cheyenne Busker were credited with assists on the first Karhayu goal of the season.
The Dragons then put the Cougars on the ropes with just seconds left before halftime.
The Dragons were awarded a corner kick with 33 seconds left in the first half after a Zara Lawless direct free kick was deflected over the back line by Barton goalkeeper Nia Baker. Aimee Maher hustled to initiate the set piece and sent the corner to the near post where Baker mishandled it. Lani Dickinson hammered home a point-blank shot for a 2-0 Hutchinson lead with 18.8 seconds to play in the first half.
Maher picked up her second assist of the game when she intercepted a Barton defensive clearing attempt and slid a pass past two Cougar midfielders to Karhayu, who split the Barton back line and beat Baker on the ground to Baker's left for a 3-0 lead just 17 seconds into the second half.
This was Karhayu's second career multi-goal game. The first was a four-goal performance against Hesston College on September 14, 2019.
The Blue Dragon defense made life easy for freshman goalkeeper Kambrian Colborn, who made five saves against Barton for her second shutout of the season.
Barton out-shot the Blue Dragons 16-14.