Kevin Schenk put his stamp on the match Saturday afternoon as the Cary-Grove senior helped keep his mates even with host Barrington in a nonconference boys soccer contest at Barrington Community Park.
The Trojans made a trio of brilliant acrobatic saves to help keep the Broncos (0-1-1) out of the back of the net while both sides played with plenty of pace, energy and tenacity in a 80-minute 0-0 draw.
"Kevin was just fanstastic," said Cary-Grove coach Mark Olson. "For a guy with no varsity experience, and with a team with just two returning players, I thought we played a very strong game, against a very good opponent in what turned out to be an entertaining game for sure."
Just a few days after defeating perennial state power Rockford Boylan (2-0), the Trojans traveled down Northwest Highway to take on a side which lost the bulk of its players from a team that finished second overall in the MSL West last season, and was missing two from its first-11 as well.
"I thought we had a lot of the run of play the other night in our opener with Maine West (which Barrington lost 2-1) but today, we played so much harder, and with more of a physical edge than we did against (Maine West) and for that, I am quite pleased and happy with the result," said Barrington coach Scott Steib.
Schenk was put to the test at 10 minutes when a well-paced ball sent in by a Barrington player bounded off one of his own players and what looked like just under the bar, when he elevated quickly to somehow turn the would-be goal up and over to give the Broncos a corner.
The Broncos' promising rookie duo of Kendall Stork and Sean Kim provided plenty of pace up top to give the Trojans' backline of Steve Camporese, Matt Arenberg, Tyler Szydlo and Michael Conway plenty to think about -- but then so did Ethan Clues and his midfield runningmate Connor Hennelly, who distributed and created for most of the afternoon.
Senior Mike McKune had the Trojans (1-0-1) best chance of the first period when he went over the bar, and it was his work, along with that of Kevin Wilde which brought some high praise from the head coach, as well as Steib.
"The effort from those two guys in the middle was first rate, and on both sides of the ball," said Olson.
"I was worried, especially in the second half, that one of those (two) would create something that might lead to a goal for them," said Steib.
The Broncos were more dynamic than their guests after the break, and it was Stork who set free Jack Hoots at 52 minutes for a drive over the bar. Moments later, Schenk was at it again, stopping a point-blank blast from Logan Morris.
Danny Jaderholm nearly solved the Cary-Grove keeper when his 25-yard shot exploded on frame, but Schenk showed brilliant form to keep things even.
"Playing without Drew (Connor, an all-state midfielder now at Wisconsin) is going to take us awhile to adjust to, but today we played hard, and I thought it was a good result for us despite playing in the heat, and on such a big, wide field," said McKune.
"I was pleased with everything I saw today, and I like the way we created some quality chances on both sides of the half," said Steib, whose club hosts one of the best fall tournaments this week as the Barrington Classic kicks off.