Girls soccer: Stodola's late goal stuns Naperville North
Mom wanted to give her daughter a blanket to wrap up and keep warm while the coach sang praises of perseverance from that same senior player and sudden star.
Magical, memorable things seem to occur every year at the Naperville Invitational, which is arguably the best girls soccer tournament in the state. They happened once again in Saturday's title game as Barrington and Ellie Stodola's classic finish won't be forgotten anytime soon.
Stodola scored with five seconds remaining to lift the Fillies to their first tournament title, a 3-2 win over Naperville North.
"That was good," Barrington coach Ryan Stengren said. "I'm very happy for our team and our program. Too bad the weather conditions couldn't be better so we could play better soccer. It was ugly, but we found a way to grind it out."
The game appeared destined for overtime before Stodola, who hadn't scored this season prior to this week, delivered.
"It just came from the left side and just kind of came out and I was just there to capitalize on it," said Stodola, who repeatedly told her mom she didn't need the blanket to keep warm postgame. "I didn't know there was only five seconds left. I had looked up and glanced and saw there was 1:23 left so I knew we were cutting it close."
The loss was a heartbreaking way for Naperville North (13-1-2) see its undefeated streak end. The Huskies had won the tournament the past two years and lost for the first time since last year's supersectional against Glenbard East.
"It's always tough when you lose it in the last five seconds," Huskies coach Steve Goletz said. "I think the girls did a great job of battling back in tough conditions. Sometimes the ball bounces your way and sometimes it doesn't. Their girl did a nice job."
Barrington (16-1) took advantage of a defensive mistake by the Huskies with 15:34 remaining in the first half as Stodola's cross perfectly served Sophia Spinell for a 1-0 advantage.
The Fillies then scored off a free kick as Jackie Batliner buried a shot about four minutes later to put the Huskies in a 2-0 hole.
"When you're playing good teams, little mistakes get magnified," Goletz said. "We've made our share of those mistakes recently and we've got to find a way to get better in the midfield and up top."
The Huskies cut their deficit in half with 5:26 left before halftime as Ashley Santos sliced through defenders to set up Emma Crosswait to make it 2-1.
The Fillies defended well to maintain their lead, but a shot from Morgan Krause with 15:37 remaining caromed off a defender and found its way into the net to tie the game at 2-2.
"The big thing was the first goal they got, I could feel it and we talked about it at halftime," Stengren said. "We needed to regain the momentum and then they had a good little combination and the shot unluckily deflected off someone and then they had all the momentum."
The rain and windy conditions wouldn't extinguish that momentum though, but Stodola did.
"Last year she found a way to have some big moments for us and I know she's been frustrated and wanted to do more and now she's being rewarded which is great," Stengren said. "She just keeps working at it and good things happen to people who keep working."