Girls soccer: Barrington sneaks past Burlington Central
On its way to its second consecutive Class 3A state title last season, Barrington's girls soccer team would suffer one of its three losses to Burlington Central in group play of the Naperville Invite.
Wednesday night at windblown Barrington Community Stadium, the Rockets (6-4-1) put a scare into the Fillies before freshman Riley Raynor became the hero for her club with the game-winner at 70 minutes to give top-rated Barrington a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
"I don't think any of us were looking to avenge last year's 1-0 loss to them but I have to admit that loss left kind of a salty feeling for most of us who were on that team," said Fillies senior Christine Batliner. "But that game is in the past, just as the effort we put forth the other night when we beat Prospect is. That's why it's important for us to come out and play our best each night. We were not at our best from the very beginning, but Burlington played hard, and made us work for everything we got tonight."
The Fillies (9-0-1) had a roaring wind at their back in the first half, which forced BC coach Jessica Arneson to install a tactic of defending first by sitting in with numbers behind the back line then looking to spring a surprise in the counter.
"I thought we played about as well as we could in the first half. We limited chances, tackled and challenged everything we could while trying to clog up the middle of the field in order to keep their possession game stalled," said Arneson.
It appeared Arneson's plan was all for naught when the Fillies found the opener at four minutes when junior Ellie McAuley finished a Jen Devona helper from in close.
The Rockets' work rate would help keep the Fillies from finding any kind of rhythm, while their inability to play quick and on the ground with patience would also slow their attack to a crawl.
They did, however, create two chances in the first period, the first coming on a cross from Batliner which both Caroline Kilayko and Devona both just missed and the second coming from Rebecca Shomaker, who went close from 14 yards.
Arneson encouraged her club at the break to get as many attempts on frame now that the Rockets had the advantage of the wind and at the hour mark, the Rockets would draw back even on a wicked 30-yard blast by Kirsten Wyse.
"That was a big goal by Kirsten and it gave us some momentum. It's too bad we couldn't get another one," said Arneson.
It wasn't for a lack of effort by the Rockets, with Reagan Oller, Isabella Hartman, Ashley Gasca and others providing the energy and pace to do so.
Just before the Wyse goal, McAuley rattled the bar with her left-footed attempt, the third time the Fillies would find that target.
After three consecutive corners, Raynor would be on the other end of Batliner's inward swinging serve to give the home side the lead for good.
"Nobody likes to lose, but we come to this tournament to try to play the best teams that we can in order to see how we measure up with 3A teams from around the area," Arneson said. "I think the girls found out we can play with the best."