Girls soccer: Barrington's total team effort blanks Cary-Grove to win sectional title
For Barrington, defense is everybody's responsibility, not something that only the back line worries about.
That team concept was on full display at the Class 3A Guilford girls soccer sectional, where the Fillies breezed through two games without surrendering a shot on goal.
On Friday, the Fillies blanked Cary-Grove, 2-0, to capture the sectional title and take another step toward a third straight state title.
The Fillies (20-1-1) will take on the winner of Saturday's Schaumburg sectional final between St. Charles East and St. Charles North in Tuesday's 6 p.m. supersectional at Barrington Community Stadium.
Ashley Armando scored in the second minute and Caroline Kilayko added an insurance goal midway through the first half, which was more than enough.
"Everyone thinks defense is your back four or whatever, it's not," said Barrington coach Ryan Stengren. "We have a total team concept. We defend as a group of 11 and they all buy into it and they're doing a really, really good job."
It's not that Kate McGreevy, Juliana Moreno, Christine Batliner and the others on the back line didn't do their job. They again kept any balls from reaching keeper Leah Eisenbarth, racing to any ball that headed in that direction and quickly getting it out of the offensive zone. But few balls even got that far, as the forwards and midfielders did their job to choke off any offensive opportunity.
"Anytime we get a chance, the defense really steps up right away and gets it as fast as they can," said Cary-Grove's Jenna Stayart. "They don't really play around with it in the back, they just get it out right when they get it."
Armando's goal, on a shot on the ground from left to right off Tina Teik's assist, put the Fillies in command early on.
"That got us on our feet and we got another one right after that, so it was nice," Armando said.
Kilayko's goal came on a breakaway after she deked Cary-Grove keeper Makenna Sheehan.
"It started with (Ashley) Rocco, who played it to Tina's head and Tina flipped it through the gap perfectly," Kilayko said. "All I had to do was hit it in because everybody else was moving around trying to pull out the defenders."
The win was another step in the journey for the Fillies, who won their 11th straight.
"To me, I've got a great group of girls and I just don't want to see the season end," Stengren said. "I'm just happy to be blessed to coach these girls. Cary-Grove has number 2 [Stayart], she's a stud. I don't know if we have that type of player on our team, but we do 'we' really well. We're just a team."
It was a frustrating end to the season for Cary-Grove (14-3-1), but the Trojans have formed a unique bond. With several sets of siblings going through the program, the Trojans take the "we are family" theme literally.
"It's a sense of, beyond community, because some of them really are related," said Cary-Grove coach Ray Krystal. "They've created an atmosphere that's a family."