Boys soccer: Barrington rises up, sinks Stevenson
In the end, a 52nd-minute goal by No. 10 seed Stevenson merely awakened a sleeping giant.
And when Barrington's boys soccer team had finished wiping the sleep from its eyes following a 50-minute snooze, it was all Broncos as Barrington defeated the Patriots 3-1 in OT to lift the Class 3A regional trophy at Barrington Community Stadium.
Next up for the Broncos (19-3-1) will be Mundelein (14-6-2) in a Tuesday evening sectional semifinal at Buffalo Grove.
"If we lost today, I would have told you that we deserved that result" said Barrington coach Scott Steib. "But after we took control of this game, it was clear it was a result we earned. That doesn't mean it was easy up until then.
"We weren't very good against Buffalo Grove on Tuesday, and although we played a little better in the first half today, Stevenson outplayed us in every facet of the game. It wasn't until they scored first that we came out of our funk and began to play like the team we were going into the MSL Soccer Cup."
While most of the first half was played in the Broncos' end, the Patriots (11-7-3) had nothing to show for their first 40 minutes.
Truth be told, all the Patriots lacked on this sunny afternoon was a bit of good luck.
Coach Mark Schartner's club rattled the bar twice, both times with the powerful left foot of David Brandt. His 35-yard cracker in the 21st minute nearly lifted the net out of the ground. Later, just after the break, he somehow found the underside of the bar with a well-paced free kick.
"I guess it could have been 2- or 3-0 at some point, but this not only is a game of inches sometimes, it also can be a very cruel sport also," said Schartner. "But when you've been in the sport as long as I have, you just have to accept the way things go and just move on from there."
When Barrington allowed a Hunter Tam freekick to fall freely into the Broncos' box, an opportunistic Jake Nunez made them pay for it. At that point it appeared to many, including Schartner, that it might be enough for a victory.
"I really thought we had them on their heels, and that we could protect and manage the lead the rest of the way, but they were an entirely different team after they drew even," said Schartner.
The equalizer came from Barrington's Caleb Orr.
"I don't know why we came out so flat today, maybe overconfident, or a carry over from the Buffalo Grove game," said Orr. "But I guess the goal really helped us get going, and we didn't stop until the game was over."
Barrington missed on opportunities to win in regulation. But the Broncos opened up the first extra session by taking the lead for good on Klaus Pallan's 26th goal of the season, with a diving header off an Enrico Ruffolo serve at 85 minutes.
Sophomore Michael Blanke provided insurance when he unloaded a 22-yard bomb in the 93rd minute.
"All I ask in games such as these is for my guys to go out and play with as much heart, desire and effort that they can, and they did just that, which makes me very proud of each and every one of them," said Schartner.
Barrington, meanwhile, is delighted to have regained top form. Finally.
"We were just a shell of the team that we've been for nearly a game and a half, but it was great to see us get back to where we were for the last 30-35 minutes of this game," said Steib, whose club lost to Mundelein 3-2 in late September after coming back from a 2-goal deficit.
Conant 1, Wheaton Academy 0: Sophomore Harris Dibek scored on a flick from Kevin Sindewald to propel the Cougars to a Class 3A regional championship at Elk Grove.
Goalkeeper Piotr Pyz earned the shutout for Conant (13-7), which advances to a 4:30 p.m. Tuesday sectional semifinal at Glenbard East.
Glenbrook North 4, Maine West 1: The host Warriors came up short against the Spartans in regional final action. Glenbrook North advances to a 5 p.m. Wednesday sectional semifinal against Lane.