Szczesnys hat trick lifts Barrington past Schaumburg
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A powerful display of technical, entertaining soccer — fueled by sophomore Jenna Szczesny — propelled visiting Barrington on a frigid Friday afternoon in Schaumburg.
Szczesny netted a hat trick and had a foot in another goal as the Fillies recorded a 5-0 shutout over the Saxons in the Mid-Suburban League opener for both teams.
Senior Emily Morin and her backline mates were airtight in front of Fillies keeper Hannah Luedtke.
"It was great watching Jenna and Molly (Pfeiffer) up top, and the work rate our midfield put in today, and it really helps make things a little easier for us in the back," said Morin, the lone returning defensive starter for coach Ryan Stengren.
"It's really nice have a team that works so hard, and can create so much pressure on our opponents, and a win like this heading into spring break is good thing for all of us."
The Saxons (2-2-0), who lost the core of a solid 18-win club to graduation, stayed step-for-step with the state-ranked Fillies during the opening stages behind Sarah Kozlowski and Jenna Eaker — whose 12-yard cracker was turned around the post by Luedtke at eight minutes.
"Hannah was a very good keeper as a freshman last season, but she's put in so much extra work during the off-season, and that save was just a first-class save on a great shot by No. 16," Stengren said.
"Maybe things are a little different if that ball gets into the back of the net, but in reality, Barrington was clearly the better side tonight and easily one of the elite teams in the state this year," said Saxons coach Greg Chavrat.
Just moments after Luedtke's clutch stop, Szczesny finished what Pfeifffer and Alex Avers had started. Then six minutes later, the Fillies' striker doubled the lead with a sublime shot under keeper Tressa Palcheck.
Palcheck was later booked for a second yellow card, forcing the Saxons to play a person down during the final 52 minutes.
The Fillies' Pfeiffer, Aimee Pierce and Kelsey Muniz all looked dangerous on the attack, but Szczesny's physical presence kept the Saxons busy in their own end.
Trying to slow down the Fillies, the Saxons began to play an aggressive offsides trap. But when a defender was late in pushing up, Szczesny broke free down the left side and carried to the end line before serving up a crossing ball to Pfeiffer for a one-timer past Palcheck.
Melissa Ardagh relieved Palcheck and made a handful of quality stops during the second period, the perhaps the best coming during a sequence when the junior denied Avers from point-blank range at 59 minutes.
Szczesny completed her hat trick at 72 minutes after an early ball from Muniz sent her through. Two minutes from time, Pierce and Hollis Anderson worked a 1-2 combination to complete the scoring.
"There were a lot of good things which came out of this game, but, again, there is still a lot of work ahead of this team as we continue to work on a new system and with a handful of first-time varsity players," Stengren said.
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