It was the opponent both Barrington and Buffalo Grove had wanted to play on the last day of the girls soccer state tournament -- one another.
Unfortunately for both teams, it wasn't for a state championship, but rather third place.
Barrington defeated its Mid-Suburban League rival 2-0 in the third-place game on a stormy Saturday night in Naperville at North Central College.
Though the two best teams in the MSL fell short in their bid to make some championship history, it in no way diminished what each side accomplished in a wildly successful 2013 season.
"We felt we had a chance (Friday) in our semifinal with Naperville North, and really, for the first hour or so, we showed we could play with them, despite not being at our best in that game," said Bison coach Pat Dudle.
"We were able to get into their final third in that second half, but we weren't as sharp as we needed to be to finish any of our chances. And on the other end, we knew their two great players up top (Zoe Swift and Abbie Boswell) were dangerous, and when they had the chance, they finished. That's the way it goes sometimes."
"It was tough going home from our loss on Friday and to our prom, then back here again playing in the game none of us originally wanted to be in," said Carly Brown, one of just four seniors on a Bison club which returns almost everyone from its 25-win season, making them an extremely early favorite to win the MSL Cup next spring and likely earn a return to the state tournament. "But I thought we came out and played hard today. It's just too bad we lost and finished the season this way."
"It was great to be a part of a team that won the most games ever in program history, and there's no reason why next season, the girls won't do any better," added the midfielder, who graduates along with starting defenders Shannon Guercio, JayJay Lowery and Kelly VandeMerkt.
Dudle pointed out that that were a lot of pleasant surprises for BG this season.
"Things like Sarah O'Connor moving from the midfield to become a terrific keeper for us, our back line allowing just 17 goals in 30 games and reaching almost every goal we set with a team that is dominated by sophomores and juniors," he said.
The Bison won the prestigious Pepsi Showdown, then nearly 10 days later the MSL East division crown and finished the year with a dazzling 25-4-1 record.
O'Connor was superb on Saturday, turning away two sure goals from Jenna Szczesny, who still was able to put two into the back of the net for her 24th and 25th of the season. Those goals gave Aimee Pierce and Meredith Slott and five other Fillies seniors the perfect send-off.
"Friday was an emotionally rough day," said Slott, who will be off to Northwestern next fall. "It was kind of weird having people tell us how bad they felt we had lost our semifinal and then in the same breath, congratulations on your graduation, then good luck Saturday when we got back to school (Friday night) for graduation ceremonies."
Slott, along with fellow senior Emily Morin, Pierce, and junior Emily Decraene were all responsible for the Fillies going 8-0 in the month of May with 7 shutouts, including a 3-0 victory over Rockford Boylan in the sectional final.
"It's kind of hard knowing this will be the last time you'll be playing soccer, but it was a lot easier knowing we won our last game together, and in the third-place game," said Pierce, a four-year starter for coach Ryan Stengren.
"I don't know if Pat would agree, but it felt like the girls came out and played so relaxed and easy today and that makes you wonder if they did that Friday would we have beaten Hinsdale Central," Stengren said. "The hardest part about the season ending is knowing that you have to let go of a group of seniors that have been so important to our program and put us back on the soccer map with their four straight supersectional appearances, three MSL titles and a third-place state finish. They have been something else."