Girls soccer: Batliner's goals spark Barrington at Prospect

Jackie Batliner netted a late first-half goal, then delivered another at 54 minutes to help send Barrington's girls soccer team to a 4-0 victory over Prospect at George Gattas Memorial Stadium in Mt. Prospect on Monday.

The Fillies recorded their 11th shutout of the season against a Knights team which has struggled to find the back of the net during its three league losses. Prospect has scored once again the MSL, against division-leading Buffalo Grove.

"I feel like we can get over the hump if we can go out and get ourselves 3-4 goals in a game," said Prospect sophomore Ashley Welk, who along with teammates, defended valiantly until the Fillies' second-half explosion.

"We did a lot of things very well tonight, but again, we've got to be better in our opponent's final third," said Barrington coach Ryan Stengren.

The visitors were doing their best to unlock a Prospect defense which was becoming increasingly frugal as the first half wore on. The Knights at times had up to eight players behind the ball, making those final-third issues even tougher for Barrington.

Senior Meredith Nyborg, in just her fourth game as the starter in goal for Prospect, turned away an Anna Brodjian attempt at eight minutes. And she stopped another, this time by Ellie Stodola, which resulted in a corner for the Fillies (12-1-0, 6-0-0, 18 points).

After both Sydney Bowling and Sophia Spinell went wide, the best work going forward for the Knights (4-6-1, 2-3-1) came when Welk and Aly Kobler produced a quality chance inside the box, which the Fillies' Kayla Keck was called upon to clear.

Kobler made her presence felt when the senior was brought on in the 26th minute and had a chance after a Grace Johannsen corner.

"I thought we defended very well all night long, only giving up a couple of good chances by Prospect," said Keck, also a senior.

Batliner ran freely into the box to redirect a marvelous free kick from Spinell in the 34th minute. And these same two connected again, on yet another crossfield free kick, this one to the back post.

Just prior to and after Batliner's goals, the visitors had begun to pass the ball around with ease. The speed and one- or two-touch passing from Barrington impressed Prospect coach Tom Froats.

"When they really got their attack up and running, they were moving the ball (in and out) at a high rate of speed while finding their wing players, which is how they scored their third goal," Froats said.

Michayla Herr put a picture perfect ball up the right side and onto the foot of Christine Batliner, and the sophomore drove a 30-yard angled strike into the far corner at 66 minutes.

Prospect did not go away easily and generated a handful of chances in the final quarter-hour - one from Grace Taldone, and another by Ella Marzolf - before Anna Brodjian made it 4-0 when she delivered from 25 yards at 73 minutes.

"We've got to come out and play hard each and every time, never letting up and expecting each opponent to play their best game against us," said Keck.

Barrington will play Naperville Central on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Naperville Invite, while the Knights continue a busy week of play with a road game at Wheeling on Tuesday, followed by a trip to Schaumburg the following evening.

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