Barrington's scoring touch returns
Barrington's girls soccer team finally found it shooting touch on Wednesday night, striking five times against visiting Fremd on its way to a 5-0 victory on the turf in Mid-Suburban West play at Barrington Community Stadium.
After finding the back of the net on just three occasions in their first three matches of the season, the Fillies (3-0-1, 2-0-0) impressed with a strong 40-minute opening half of soccer, inspired by Jenna Szczesny and Ann Marie Niro, who helped their club to a 2-0 advantage at the break.
"It felt good to finally put a few balls into the back of the net -- it's something that's been missing here in the early going, and hopefully it was just what we needed to get us going from here on out," said Barrington coach Ryan Stengren, whose team opened the season with a win and draw against Naperville North and Neuqua Valley before spring break.
"(Scoring) some goals tonight definitely gave our confidence a big boost," said Niro, an accomplished senior who's on the high school team for the first season, one year after her sister Nicole followed the same pattern and helped the Fillies to an MSL title and deep playoff run. "We're starting to get more comfortable each time we go out, and it's beginning to show in our overall play."
The Fillies hit the ground running, dominating possession throughout the middle of the park with Niro and Annalise Avers leading the way. After a handful of half-chances, Szczesny steered in the eventual game-winner in the 19th minute.
Michayla Herr doubled the Fillies' advantage at 32 minutes when she deftly brought down Soph Spinell's corner from the near flag before driving a one-timer past Vikings keeper Kelsey Stone, who had no chance on the 16-yard blast.
Stone was strong throughout, turning around what seemed like 3 sure goals to help keep her club within striking distance. One stellar effort came in the 38th minute against Spinell, as Stone pushed a well-struck attempt up and over the bar.
"Kelsey was amazing tonight, but we have to get better in our end so she doesn't have to work so hard back there," said Fremd senior Katie Zara, who provided another strong end-to-end 80-minute performance.
The Vikings (0-2-0, 0-1-0) nearly stunned Barrington just moments into the second period when Kellie Halloran put Danielle Money through. If not for a brilliant stop by Fillies keeper Hannah Luedtke on Money's point-blank shot, it would have been 2-1.
"Who knows how things change if we put that one in?" said Fremd coach Steve Keller. "Maybe not at all, but it could have gotten a little interesting for awhile."
Stone made another pair of terrific saves before Haley Tausend snuck in the Fillies' third goal off another Spinell corner. Then Szczesny unloaded a bomb from 25 yards on the run.
Stengren brought off most of his starters beginning at 65 minutes; soon after, sophomore Maesyn Poidomani ended the scoring with a nice touch to her right to get space and time to finish.
"We still have a long way to go if we hope to be playing late into May and early June," said Stengren, "but this was by far the best all around effort from front to back that we've had thus far."
The Fillies travel to Elk Grove next Wednesday, while Fremd is on the road Saturday at MSL West rival Schaumburg for a noon start.