Boys soccer: Glenbrook North denies Elgin its 1st state trip

Glenbrook North scored twice late into the Class 3A Barrington supersectional final Wednesday to secure a dramatic 3-1 win over Elgin to end the Maroons' dream of advancing to their first state tournament in program history.

After adverse weather conditions on Tuesday forced officials to suspend this contest in the 68th minute. Both clubs were greeted by cold but dry weather at Barrington Community Stadium on Wednesday.

From the onset, it was clear Jimmy Romano's men were unable to match the impressive first half of soccer on Tuesday when their pace and fluency allowed them to play as if it were sunny and mild instead of the blizzard-like conditions both clubs played in for just over an hour.

"We came out flat today, and we never really got ourselves back to playing the way we did last night in a first half where we came close to putting another one or two in (instead) of the only goal we would eventually score," said Romano, whose club ends its marvelous season at 16-4-3.

Xavier Salinas would give the Maroons the advantage with his opener in the 29th minute on Tuesday evening. But a Lukasz Wilczek equalizer at 53 minutes would hold up through the 18 minutes played when the action began on Wednesday.

It would be the Spartans' (21-3-2) work rate and ability to control the middle of the park that would slowly tilt the play in their favor.

"I guess we've become a real good second half team since the playoffs began. And today, we came out with so much more energy and life, which helped have a lot of the play most of this game," said Spartans coach Paul Vignocchi, who led his team to a state fourth-place trophy in 2004 during his first year in charge.

The Maroons did not agree with a foul in the 83rd minute that would send Ian Lee to the spot after the referee ruled Jackson Lee was tripped up inside the box after the sophomore outran a Maroons defender to beat keeper David Castaneda to the ball.

"The referee said our center back clipped No. 26 (Jackson Lee) in the box, but we didn't see it that way. And as it turned out, that was a pivotal call in a really important game," said a disappointed Romano.

Ian Lee steered in his 28th goal of the season to give the Spartans a 2-1 advantage after the first extra session.

Alberto Gayten went close at 92 minutes, but this next extra session belonged to the Spartans, who secured victory two minutes from time when Michael Miller cut inside at the end line before sending his angled effort off the back post, and into the back of the Maroons net.

"It's a disappointing way to see our season end, but there were a lot of great moments in our season, and the guys should be proud of what they accomplished," said Romano.

"This is our second straight trip to the supersectionals. And I can tell you with us just losing three seniors from our starting lineup, and a great core of players back with a ton of experience, there's no reason why we cannot get back to this game next year and win it."

Glenbrook North will play the winner of the New Trier-St. Charles East game at Garver Stadium at tourney host Hoffman Estates High School in a 6 p.m. state semifinal match Friday.

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