Barrington scores on corner kick to defeat Naperville North

The corner kick in soccer is at the heart of what is known as a set piece to its devotees.

Sophia Spinell and Kayla Keck had a collaboration right before halftime Monday night in Naperville that gave Barrington all the offense it would need.

After being awarded a corner kick, Spinell, a junior midfielder for Barrington, lofted an exquisite cross to the opposite side of the Naperville North goal.

Keck, the Fillies' junior defender, had few issues in putting it away with 46.1 seconds before halftime.

The Keck header broke the scoreless draw in the teams' girls soccer season opener, and the Fillies - despite being outshot - held on for a 1-0 nonconference victory.

"It's the first game," Naperville North coach Steve Goletz said. "We made a mistake, left a player unmarked and they scored. It was the difference in the game."

"It's definitely a central aspect that we practice on and need to finish," Spinell added of the importance the Fillies place on their corner opportunities. "We always have to take advantage of them. (Corners) can make or break a game."

Despite her back-row positional status, Keck beat the Naperville North goalkeeper with ease to the upper-left corner.

"Defenders score all the time for us," Keck said of her squad, third in Class 3A last spring. "I was in the post, and Soph gave me a beautiful cross. Basically, I just tapped it in with my head."

The Fillies (1-0) mustered but a pair of shots on the Huskies' after halftime, but their defense met all the challenges Naperville North could generate.

"The ball moves so much faster on synthetic grass," Naperville North senior captain Alexis Dandridge said.

The Huskies (0-1) had some quality scoring chances in both halves.

Barrington goalkeeper Samantha Schmitz stopped the Huskies' first three offerings for routine saves, but dangerous Naperville North junior Morgan Krause was at the center of its primary scoring chances.

The defender had a series of corner kicks and free kicks; one free kick resulted in a blast off the post, and Dandridge was a hair off on her timing on the other.

With less than 10 minutes to play in the opening half, Dandridge had her header off a Krause corner whiz past the Fillies' right post.

"I think it hit the wrong side of my forehead," Dandridge said.

Spinell not only hit the crossbar in the first half off a Naperville North misplay but also narrowly missed doubling the Fillies' lead moments into the second off a scramble within point-blank range of the Huskies' goal.

Barrington dodged the Huskies' last two chances for the equalizer in the final six minutes to secure the shutout for Schmitz.

"We have a long ways to go," Barrington coach Ryan Stengren said. "(The Huskies are) a very good team. They're one of the better teams we will play."

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