Striker Kendall Stork helped Barrington erase any of the lingering negatives from regional woes in its recent past.
Maybe it helped that the freshman had never been through any of those letdowns personally.
Stork eased the nerves of a big home crowd after the Broncos lost their starting keeper to a red card by finishing off No. 3 seed Dundee-Crown (16-4-1) with his 75th-minute strike.
Barrington (17-3-3) won 2-0 to send the Broncos into their own regional final against top seed Cary-Grove (17-0-2) at 6 p.m. Friday at Barrington's Community Park.
"Coach has been telling us about how much trouble we've had the past two years in our regional opener, and although I really didn't know much about it, I know that all of us heard that speech, and I sure wanted to help do something about it," said Stork, who contributed a dynamic 80 minutes despite being played physically by the Chargers' back line.
Barrington keeper Pat Deroche was sent off after taking down Malik Washington at 27 minutes.
"Kendall was really something when he scored 3 against Fremd earlier in the season, but I don't know how much better he could have played tonight, especially when we really needed him in that second half when we went to a 4-4-1 with him being the lone forward in our formation," said Broncos coach Scott Steib.
"Ethan (Claes), Craig (Zahour) and Connor Hennelly did a great job in the middle all night, and our back line defended very well throughout in what proved to be a wild 80 minutes of soccer."
A mostly cagey opening quarter-hour of play greeted the packed stands, which featured plenty of visiting fans dressed in Chargers blue and red. D-C stopped point-blank shots from Claes and Hennelly before Stork drove his 6-yard smash into the back of the net after the Chargers' yielded a rebound on a Hennelly attempt.
"That first goal is always so important," said D-C head coach Rey Vargas, who along with assistant, and former Conant star Sebastian Falinski, helped guide a wonderfully successful season for the Chargers. "I thought we battled back and created some chances after their goal, but we just couldn't finish any of them."
Both Jose Angeles and Malik Washington, the Chargers' top two scorers, were particularly dangerous whenever the visitors were able to get forward.
Following a poor clearing attempt in the Broncos' end, Washington collected the ball and poured freely forward. Without hesitation, Deroche raced off his line and took the big striker down.
The center official ruled Washington was brought down just outside the box, sparing Barrington from a PK attempt.
Steib brought on Alex Broderick between the sticks and was forced to play a man down for the next 53 minutes.
The ensuing free kick was drilled into the heart of the Broncos' six-man wall by Jonathan Castillo, and Barrington's fans breathed a sigh of relief.
"We did a great job of staying organized and finding Kendall after we went a man down, and I thought we kept them to just a few half-chances from there on out," Steib said.
After Fernando Telles and Zahour looked to overhit their serves out of the back to Stork, the freshman appeared to make something out of nothing on the other end, nearly finding the back with three good chances. If not for the brilliant play of D-C keeper Christian Martinez and timely tackles from Carlos Ramos, Stork and the Broncos might have had some breathing room on the scoreboard.
"Of course, if I had put one one of my chances in, especially that shot just after the first goal, maybe things would have been a little easier," Stork said.
Vargas went to three defender at one hour as his lads pushed forward in hopes of tying. The move almost paid off when Ben Stones' 40-yard blast found the frame at 62 minutes. But the Chargers' decision to add numbers up top ultimately exposed them in the back, and it wasn't long before Stork and his mates took advantage.
Logan Morris, who popped in a header at 71 minutes but was ruled off-sides, provided the helper on the second goal by Stork.
"We knew we would be leaving ourselves open in the back when we changed our formation, but it was a chance we had to take, and the guys did just about everything they could tonight, except finish," said Vargas. "What a terrific effort, and a great season we had, and I am very proud of all of them."
Steib felt much the same way.
"You've got to be happy with a win like this tonight, and to be so proud of what everyone contributed in getting it," he said.
The Broncos had lost to Cary-Grove in their past two regional openers, including a 3-0 decision last season in rain and wind at Lake Zurich.