by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – Ruben Mancio staked Barton College to a 1-0 lead early in its season-finale against King University on Saturday, but the Bulldogs gave up a pair of second-half scores in falling to the Tornado, 2-1, at the Barton Outdoor Athletics Complex.
A freshman from Cadiz, Spain, Mancio fired up the Homecoming crowd when he scored from just off the left post 8:06 into the contest, his fifth goal of the year.
Mancio started the play at midfield with a touch to Pol Monells, who drove the left sideline before somehow getting the ball back to Mancio in the box through three King defenders. Tornado keeper Jake Davis came out to challenge, but Mancio worked to Davis' left and found an open net.
Barton (5-12-1, 1-8-1) continued to pressure through the first half, enjoying an 8-4 edge in shots, and took the 1-0 lead into intermission.
However, King (5-9-2, 1-8-1) collected the equalizer just 6:41 into the second period, as Adonis Wheeler put away a deflection off a Barton defender following a chip into the box from the right wing by Luis Calderon.
The Tornado continued to challenge, with Barton keeper Jens Madsen Hordvik claiming three of his five saves on the day over the game's next 12 minutes.
King broke through with the go-ahead goal in the 73rd minute when Carlos Saavedra spun and dribbled his way through several Barton defenders at the top of the box for the winning shot.
In contrast to the first half, it was the Tornado which enjoyed the 6-3 edge in shots in the final period.
There were six yellow cards handed out – four to Barton and two to King – in a physical affair between two teams playing their final matches of the season. The Tornado win left the two sides tied for 10th place in Conference Carolinas. Neither advanced to next week's league tournament.
The match was the final one for eight Barton seniors who were honored in a pre-match ceremony.