Barrington takes the lead, tops Fremd
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Barrington had grown tired of playing second fiddle.
For the five years previous, the Fillies girls water polo program had advanced to the sectional championship round -- only to see Fremd earn a spot in the Elite Eight at Stevenson.
On Saturday in Fremd's pool, the roles were reversed as Barrington edged the Vikings 12-10. It was sweet music indeed for the Mid-Suburban League champs.
"Lately, it's been a lot of the bridesmaid, never the bride," said Barrington coach Mark Markwell, dripping wet and soaking up the moment on deck after a joyous postgame dunking. "What the heck -- I needed a bath anyway."
Barrington's senior-led team weathered a shaky start as Fremd standout Tori Boldt scored on a great chance in front of the goal to open the scoring. Despite some early Barrington turnovers, goals from Rachel Scardino and Kelly Meckert near the end of the first quarter put Barrington back in front 2-1.
"Sometimes things aren't going to go exactly your way," said Barrington's Sam Gavars. "But we're a team. We know we can depend on each other, and we'll come together."
The Fillies held a 5-3 lead at the half, and their performance in the third quarter was the difference in the game. A lob from Gavars, a couple of goals from Lisa Danhauer and a Meckert penalty shot were part of a 6-3 scoring edge in the period.
Trailing 11-6 to start the fourth quarter, Fremd got back in it with a pair of rockets from Boldt.
Gavars fed Danhauer for a nifty drive and score with 2:44 left to finish the scoring for Barrington, but Fremd still wasn't done.
DiCanio scored on a man-up situation, and Samantha Barry scored with 1:33 left. After a Fremd shot clanged off the frame, though, Barrington was able to run down the clock.
The result wasn't what Fremd wanted, but it wasn't for lack of effort -- especially on the part of Boldt, a senior.
"She's the ultimate warrior," said Fremd coach Ray Roth, who intends to lobby for all-state honors for Boldt. "From the first day we saw her as a freshman, you could see there was something special there. She's got that intensity, and she worked so hard to become the player that she is."
Boldt (20-11) led Fremd with 4 goals and DiCanio had 3. Barrington (26-4) was led by Meckert with 4, Danhauer with 3 and Byron and Gavars with 2 each.
Grace Buenrostro capably handled goalie duties for the Fillies as Maddie Burrell continues to recover from a concussion.
The Fillies will meet Mundelein, a 6-5 winner over Stevenson in the sectional hosted by the Mustangs, in a 5:45 p.m. Thursday state quarterfinal matchup at Stevenson.
Barrington is making its fourth state tournament appearance, and its first since 2007.
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