Barrington sails past Lake Forest
Barrington breezed into the finals of the Class 3A Mundelein boys soccer sectional with a 3-0 victory over Lake Forest on Tuesday afternoon.
The Mid-Suburban West champion Broncos will meet Buffalo Grove (8-8-6) in an all-MSL final at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Mundelein.
The top-seeded Broncos (18-3-4) looked like the team to beat as they struck for the first goal at 11 minutes, then methodically pressed the rest of the way to end the season for the Scouts (13-7-1).
"They played like the No. 1 seed today," said Lake Forest coach Rob Parry. "They were a little too technical and tactical for us, and they played through their two guys in the middle real well, especially in that first half when we lost too often, which caused a disconnect between our midfield and backline."
It didn't take long for the Broncos to find their form as David Conrad, a lively presence up top the whole game, helped create an superb opener from Jonathan Wilson.
Giles Phillips put Conrad through with a devasting ball up the center channel. After a burst of speed allowed Conrad to split a pair of Scouts defenders, his ensuing shot bounded off the post and onto the foot of Wilson, who'd kept running into the area.
After the Wilson goal, the Broncos were the more expansive outfit on the pitch, and thanks to the work of Connor Hennelly, Logan Morris and Phillips in the midfield, the attack continued to press forward and create, forcing the Scouts to defend more than they'd have like. That prevented standouts such as John O'Connor or Keegan Kullby from doing their usual damage.
"Connor, Logan and Giles complement each other so well, and together with the assorted strengths they make up a terrific unit for us in the middle of the park," said Barrington coach Scott Steib.
The Scouts tried to get a tying goal, and their best chances to do so came from Matt Moderwell at the back post in the 14th minute, and at 32 minutes, when Kullby was ruled offsides just after he broke free.
The Broncos doubled their advantage at 49 minutes when Hennelly fought off a challenge and broke open the Scouts' back line with a piercing through ball. Conrad collected the pass, got the better of his defender and then calmly struck a low drive past diving Lake Forest keeper Jack Sentell.
"Coach Steib said before the game how important it was to score first, but even more important to get that second one — and we worked hard to get it," said Conrad.
Faced with chasing the game instead of playing to get even, the Scouts pushed a few more numbers forward in hopes of cutting into the 2-goal deficit. Instead, Barrington took advantage when Hennelly redirected the rebound of a shot taken by Conrad.
"We allowed too much space in the center channel on those first two goals, and that third one was just not a good goal either," said Parry.
"I think all of us would have liked to be a little sharper at the start," Wilson said, "but we came back and played very good soccer on both ends, and that's what was most important."
The Broncos defeated Buffalo Grove during MSL play on a late penalty kick from Morris. But that's now ancient history, according to Steib.
"Buffalo Grove has been playing well since the end of the regular season, and certainly not like a No. 15 seed," he said. "We fully expect a very difficult match when we meet on Friday, and one that we had better be ready to play in."
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