Barrington marched into the finals of its own tournament after emerging 2-1 victors over Lake Zurich on Friday night, setting up a second straight championship match with Rockford Boylan at 6 p.m. Saturday on the turf at Barrington Community Stadium.
The Broncos (5-0-0), who did not concede a goal in pool play, thrilled a big Youth Night crowd with 2 goals in the first period. Barrington then defended in numbers to thwart the Bears (2-3-0), who will meet New Trier for third place at 4 p.m. Saturday.
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"It wasn't our best effort of the season, but obviously, we're happy to be able to record a clean sheet and walk out of here with a victory to advance into the finals," said Barrington coach Scott Steib. "We'll have to be better in that match if we want to have a chance to repeat as tournament champion."
The hosts stunned the Bears in the 10th minute when junior Giles Phillips, running freely up the center channel, headed a well-served helper from Ethan Claes past keeper Mike Savio.
"We weren't as sharp as we could have been in the early stages of the game, but I thought we settled in thereafter to play some good soccer," said Lake Zurich coach Mike Schmitz.
"While we were not pleased with our effort and play in the second half," said Steib, "you have to credit (Lake Zurich) for some of that because of their work rate and ability to keep us from finding any rhythm in our game."
In the first half-hour, the Broncos had the better of the play with Jonathan Wilson, David Conrad, Logan Morris and Claes running hard to keep the pressure on the Bears' backline. If not for some stout work from junior Dan Ross and Savio, the Bears might have been chasing another goal or two before the break.
Scott Shadrick had the best chance of the half for Lake Zurich, a 15-yard smash which keeper Pat Deroche saved with confidence. But moments later, Austin Grzebieniak doubled the lead in sensational fashion by beating Savio after Morris provided a superb ball out of the back.
Mike Doheny provided some much-needed pace for the Bears after intermission, and it was clear his work, along with the efforts of Jacob Karbowski and Collin Foreman, helped inspired the LZ attack.
The Bears stayed in the Broncos' end for most of the second half but still were not able to solve Deroche and his backline mates.
"We're going to be a tough unit along the back, but we need to clean a few things up -- get Connor (Hennelly) and Sean Kim fit and 100 percent healthy, and try to find a few more goals here and there in order to compete during the long haul," said Steib.