Girls soccer: Barrington turns back Burlington Central

Barrington's girls soccer team advanced to the quarterfinals of the Naperville Invite by defeating Class 2A power Burlington Central 2-0 on Friday night at Barrington Community Stadium.

The Fillies defense and keeper turned in another first-class performance to record its tenth shutout of the season, which was guaranteed by a superb save by Samantha Schmitz in the 68th minute against BC's Zoey Kollhoff.

"Burlington was a really hard-working and very good team who used that hard work to put pressure on us for most of the night," said Schmitz, whose quick reaction to the 18-yard attempt allowed her to push the Kollhoff strike up and over the bar.

"Our wall was set perfectly, but she bent her shot over the wall and I just did my job, and got my hand on the ball," Schmitz said.

The effort of the Rockets (11-2-1) on this night erased a 10-3 thrashing they'd taken last year against the Fillies (11-1-0) during the first visit to this tournament by BC.

"Yes, that loss provided some motivation for us coming into this game, but the real focus was to go out and play as well as we could against one of the best 3A teams in the state, learn some things about our team, and see what we have to work on to get better," said Megan Majewski, a junior who turned in a wonderful effort for coach Jessica Arneson.

"I was real proud of the entire team," Arneson said. "It was a great experience to play a team like Barrington, and that's one of the reasons we decided to come to a tournament like the Naperville Invite."

Neither team could say they controlled play during the first quarter-hour, but after a couple of half-chances by Ashley Prell, the Fillies sophomore was at the center of the opening goal, initiated by senior Michayla Herr at 27 minutes.

Jackie Batliner combined beautifully with Sophia Spinell by running freely to Spinell's corner and thumping a header past keeper Erin Rafferty in the 38th minute.

The Rockets opened up their attack after the break with a little more energy and purpose. That effort was led by Anna McMahon, Kyrsten Callie Pellikan, Majewski, and fueled by Sydney Pryor, who started to win the aerial balls at midfield.

"Last year we didn't win a thing in the air against Barrington, so we knew that couldn't happen again, so we challenged Sydney to be a difference-maker, and she was terrific all night long," Arneson said.

After the Rockets' initial burst to begin the second period, Barrington was in BC's end for the next quarter-hour. Although the Filllies created some quality ball movement and possession, they did not put anything dangerous on frame, except for a Spinell free kick in the 67th minute.

Meanwhile, the Barrington back line of Haley Tausend, Kayla Keck, Madi Rosen and Batliner kept the Rockets far enough away from Schmitz until her goal-saving stop of Kollhoff.

"Burlington Central has a real good looking team, and could go far in the 2A playoffs if they continue to play as well as they did tonight," said Barrington coach Ryan Stengren, who await his quarterfinal opponent when pool play is completed today at other venue sites.

Burlington Central next meets Rockford Boylan, at noon Saturday.

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