The Hersey girls soccer supersectional between Barrington and New Trier ended as these things usually do: with contrasting joy and sadness.
And and at the final whistle, the first player joyfully embraced by her teammates was New Trier's Kelly Maday.
The player of the match for New Trier drove in the game-winner four minutes from time to give the Trevians (29-1-0) a 1-0 victory and a berth in the Class 3A state semifinals Friday night in Naperville at North Central College. New Trier meets Waubonsie Valley in its matchup at 7 p.m.
"It was just as we expected -- a battle between two great teams, with, unfortunately, one of us not advancing," said a relieved New Trier coach Jim Burnside.
Until Maday's 76th-minute goal, it seemed as if this soccer thrillfest was headed to overtime and thus had become a game of attrition, as it was clear both sides were beginning to run on fumes after 80-plus minutes of play.
"Tactically we were ready for everything New Trier would come at us with," said Barrington coach Ryan Stengren, who was trying get his team into the final four for a second straight season. "We stopped their big players up top, and they did a good job on ours. But if you're around this game long enough, this is how it goes sometime, and for us, it didn't quite go the way we had hoped it would."
There wasn't a drop of energy left in the Fillies (18-4-1) as their opponents celebrated the victory, long after Roland R. Goins Stadium had cleared.
"I know the girls are deeply hurt and disappointed right now, but for me, as their coach, I am so proud of the effort all of them gave tonight, and the bottom line is they left it all out there -- and that's all you can really ask of your team," Stengren said.
The Trevians front line of Maggie Armstrong, Maddie Mulford and Maday showed plenty of spark during in the first 10 minutes as the Fillies struggled to find their form. Maday created a quality chance for Mulford at five minutes, but the all-state senior sprayed her shot over the bar.
Ten minutes later, Maday drove a well-aimed corner to the spot, but Hannah Luedtke confidently went into the air to pull the ball away from a crowd of Trevians.
Jenna Szczesny had a half-chance in the 20th minute as the Fillies started to put some pressure on New Trier, but five minutes afterward, the best opportunity of the first period from either side fell to Barrington.
Carrie Caplan started it with a strong tackle before quickly finding the foot of Szczesny. The junior put Elli Ackermann through down the left side, and if not for a sensational point-blank save from Dani Kaufman, the Fillies would have been first to strike.
"Dani is hardly mentioned because she rarely has to make very many saves, but she is always there when you need that one or two big stops in a game, and tonight, she saved us when we really needed her to," said Burnside.
After that sequence, the Fillies came alive, and their capacity to harry the Trevians in the midfield, led by Nicole Niro, who won more than her fair share of midfield 50/50's, forced the Trevians to labor in their own end during the last quarter-hour of the half.
New Trier was nearly thrown a lifeline in the 38th minute when Maday was allowed to stroll in on Luedtke despite an apparent offsides, but the Fillies defended consecutive corners to keep the match goal-less at the break.
"We felt like that last 15-20 minutes of the half was played mostly in their end, and we knew if we could continue to pressure them, something would fall our way," said Stengren.
That moment appeared to come in the 55th minute -- but an offsides call took Szczesny out of a potential 1 v 1 with Kaufman.
Subsequently, the Trevians' backline tightened, as did the Fillies quartet of Mia Calamari, Emily Decraene, Jackie Batliner and Caplan. Over the next 20 minutes, neither side gave an inch of space while defending the final third of the field.
"Our backline was like a rock during that stretch, and so was Barrington, but it was a play from the middle which led to Maday hitting the game-winner," said Burnside.
The sophomore was all alone when the ball found its way to here, and from the far left side, she steered in her angled shot to the far inside netting to send the New Trier faithful into orbit.
"It was basically just one play, and that was the game-winner," said Stengren.
"It's tough to see the seniors go out this way -- Mia playing a great final game for us, Nicole Niro just an unbelievable game in the middle for us, Elli, Emily, Carrie Caplan -- all terrific. It was tough to see Carrie Madden not being able to go because of the injury she suffered last Friday.
"But it was a great season, and like I said, sometimes it just ends this way."