Szczesny boots Barrington by St. Charles East in OT

Jenna Szczesny left no doubt Friday night she knows how to finish her scoring chances.

The Barrington striker found herself behind the St. Charles East back line three times, finishing all three of her 1v1 opportunities in the Fillies' 3-1 double-overtime victory at the Naperville Invitational girls soccer semifinals at Naperville Central.

"She was great in front of the goal," St. Charles East coach Paul Jennison said, "but I think the bottom line is we gave her a couple of opportunities that she did well to put away. We can be better defensively in that position, and that will be something that we will look to strengthen. But at the same time, goal scorers do what they do. If you give them a half-chance, they're going to put it away."

Szczesny, a Loyola University recruit, opened the scoring in the 51st minute with a 10-yard blast that was too hot to handle.

"I was hungry for a goal, and I just really wanted to get one in," Szczesny said.

"She was off yesterday," Barrington coach Ryan Stengren said of Szczesny. "She wasn't feeling well yesterday. She's been battling a cold. But she came back with a vengeance today in a big-time game, and it's nice to see your better players excel in these type of games."

St. Charles East (15-1) evened the score in the 63rd minute when freshman Chantel Carranza was fouled inside the Barrington penalty area. Carranza buried the penalty kick easily.

Szczesny got one more 1v1 opportunity in each overtime period, giving the Fillies (14-0-3) the lead for good in the 87th minute and an insurance goal in the 95th.

"Anytime you go in with an unbeaten record and you lose one it's really tough to take," Jennison said. "We didn't really have any answer for that style of play against us. It's a great learning curve to go out with and take the positives out with."

If you're going to lose, might as well lose in the state's strongest regular-season tournament. All four semifinalists are potential state champions.

Barrington will play in the championship game at noon Saturday against Naperville North. It will be the Fillies' fourth game in as many days.

"When you play teams like this there needs to be more quality behind it," Stengren said. "This was just an effort, work-hard-type of game and I'm glad that we could play that way and find a way to win, but we need to knock the ball around a lot more than we did today. That's the team that we usually are."

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