Kenzee Godwin has career afternoon as Butler soccer advances to region championship over Barton Cougars

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Butler's Kenzee Godwin (19) attempts a shot in the 5-1 win over Barton on Thursday, Nov. 4 at Stryker Soccer Complex in Wichita, Kansas. The freshman from McPherson, Kansas scored four goals in the win

WICHITA — Kenzee Godwin finally figured out what was going wrong and who did she take out a year of frustration on? The 19th-ranked Barton Cougars. 

Godwin scored four goals, two in each half, as Butler advances to the Midwest District, Region VI championship, with the 5-1 win.

"I went to shoot with my parents on Saturday and I figured out what was wrong," Godwin said. "Going out and shooting and like practicing on what I needed to work on real I think really helped me to escape.

"That's what made a difference."

The freshman from McPherson was a big difference in the match, attacking the Barton left back all afternoon long, finding herself behind the defense for one-on-one's with the Barton keeper. 

"Kenzee [Godwin] did a couple of things right today that helped her in her game," Butler head coach Adam Hunter said. "Most importantly, she settled down and was patient."

Godwin found herself placing the ball on the ground, by the keeper after getting behind the Barton defense. Her and Joy Ngbunni had their way, creating havoc on the attack. 

Instead of using her left foot, despite being a right handed player, she switched to her right foot and it gave her a little bit more control.

"I was swinging my left leg, causing it to curve," Godwin said. "I'm kind of ambidextrous with my legs."

Right for was right on Thursday at Stryker Soccer Complex as the second seeded Grizzlies jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game and the goals poured in after that. 

Barton ends their season 13-4-1 and ranked 19th nationally.

Butler (16-4-1) has been pretty successful at Styker since the remodel a few years ago. They won the district last year, stunning Barton, Hutch and Cowley on their way to the national tournament.

"This place has been very kind to us so far," Hunter said. "I don't want to jinx anything but I hope it continues."

Butler is 5-0 all-time at Stryker heading into Saturday's championship where the Grizzlies will either play Cowley, who beat Butler 3-2 or Coffeyville, a team who played to a 1-0, double OT Butler win less than two weeks ago.

"We're ready for either team," Hunter said. "We fell behind early against Cowley but we battled back. Coffeyville has been really tough the last few years."

For the players, if they had a choice, they'd want Cowley.

"I think we have a really big chance to beat Cowley," Gowdwin said. "We all want to win that game because we lost last time."

Cowley beat Butler 3-2 after going up 2-0 in the first five minutes of the match. Butler battled to tie it and Cowley won on a blooper goal in the second half. 

Butler will play the championship game at 6 p.m. at Stryker with a right to head to Dayton Beach for the NJCAA national tournament on the line. The Grizzlies, who are ranked 11th in the final poll will most likely have to win to get into the tournament as there are only two at large bids for the tournament.

"Whoever it is, we'll be excited to play them," Godwin said. "That will get us the opportunity of going to Nationals and we're really excited to have that opportunity."

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.