Girls soccer: Prell, Barrington still perfect in MSL
Barrington moved closer to an unprecedented seventh consecutive Mid-Suburban League Soccer Bowl appearance after defeating MSL West rival Fremd on Monday night.
Junior Ashley Prell scored the opener and the eventual game-winner to help lead the Fillies (11-2-2, 8-0-0) to a convincing 3-1 victory over Fremd at Hildebrandt Field in Palatine.
The Fillies are now 5 points clear of Conant (24-19). Both teams have three games remaining in league play.
"Playing Fremd is always one of, if not the toughest, games we play all year, and tonight we expected a real battle from them and got one," said Prell, now with a team-high 11 goals.
"This was a big game for us, and one that we knew we had to play our best," said Barrington's Michayla Herr. "After a tough 20-25 minutes at the start, we began to play the way we know we can."
Fillies coach Ryan Stengren felt Herr and midfield teammate Ashley Rocco were responsible for much of the play that slowly helped turn things in favor of the reigning MSL champs. They won a high percentage of 50-50 balls, leading to targets for forwards Prell and Tina Teik.
Prell bagged the first goal of the night in the ninth minute at the back post with a sublime one-timer after Rebecca Shomaker created the chance and the home side failed to defend inside its own box.
"Make no mistake, (Barrington) was the better team," said Fremd coach Steve Keller. "But we gave them all 3 of their goals. It could have been another one or two if Jennifer (Norris) didn't make a couple of crucial saves in goal for us."
Despite conceding the early goal, the Vikings (5-7-2, 5-3-0) equalized on a superb strike from freshman Ashley Scesniak, who found the upper right corner from 30 yards away.
Barrington ramped up its effort to reclaim the lead. When Ellie McAuley was brought down in the box, Prell stepped up and converted her spot kick at 33 minutes to put the visitors ahead for good.
Herr added to the advantage before the break when she slotted from inside the 6-yard box after Christine Batliner's corner wasn't cleared by the Vikings.
"I thought we did a good job of not hanging our heads after giving them their first goal, and really played (Barrington) well for most of the first half," said Fremd center-back and captain Marta Cholewa. "But those two late goals before the half really hurt us."
Cholewa and her teammates defended fiercely for roughly the first half-hour of the second half, and Norris made two sensational goal-saving stops as the Fillies enjoyed about 80 percent of the possession time.
Juliana Moreno, just back from injury after recovering for two weeks, as well as her backline mates Madi Rosen, Kate McGreevy and Batliner, drew plenty of praise from Stengren. The group allowed just one quality chance at keeper Samantha Schmitz all night.
The Fillies host MSL East-leading Buffalo Grove on Wednesday, while Fremd is on the road that same day at Rolling Meadows.
Rolling Meadows 5, Hoffman Estates 1: Rolling Meadows continued its climb towards reaching a .500 record by topping visiting Hoffman Estates 5-1 on Monday afternoon at Robert Hoese Field.
Junior Alexa Davis struck for all three first-half goals for the Mustangs (7-8-1, 2-6-0), who are now on a four-game win streak after sweeping a trio of opponents last weekend to capture the tournament trophy in Waukegan.
"We're slowly coming together as a team," said Mustangs coach Mike Drenth. "Training as much as you can with such a young team is so important, but the weather hasn't allowed us to -- so we've been kind of learning as we play games. But now we're starting to see some good stuff from the girls here in the final weeks of the season, and its beginning to show in the win column."
The hosts took advantage of a slow-starting Hawks club which was without one of its top scorers, Kathy Lopez. She was injured late in 2-1 loss at Hersey last Friday night.
"We came out flat. There was no energy at all from the players, and we paid for it right away, and never really got ourselves into this game," said Hoffman Estates coach Jeff Bird.
Just three minutes after the player introductions, Davis finished from in close after Melissa Spiwak and Meghan O'Grady swung the ball around from the left to the middle of the box..
Rolling Meadows continued to put plenty of pressure on its guests, much of it coming from Spiwak, Davis, Natalie Anderson and Sara Sheridan, two of just four seniors on the Mustangs' roster.
Davis delivered a stunning second goal in the 14th minute when she ran onto a wonderful ball from Kylie Konar's free kick, driving a shot past Hawks keeper Elise Psonak, who had no chance on this one.
Konar and Kate Mallek were terrific throughout this contest along the back line for Drenth's team -- Konar on the outside, and Mallek in the center of his back four.
"Kate just never stops -- she tackles everything and is a relentless defender, while Kylie gives us great service out of the back or in set-piece opportunities, and she's really very good on the ball as well," said Drenth.
Senior Molly Salerno pulled one back for the Hawks (1-7-0 in the MSL) in the 24th minute. But Davis again scored eight minutes later as O'Grady, Kristin Dillon and Anderson all had a helping hand in Davis' ninth goal of the season.
Sheridan made it 4-1 when the Hawks allowed the midfielder enough time and space to unloading for her ninth goal of the year at 56 minutes.
Konar put the icing on the Mustangs' victory cake with a tremendous 30-yard free kick just three minutes later.
"After fighting hard in the cold and rain last week against Hersey, I figured we would come out ready to go," Bird said. "Instead we fell flat on our faces, and never really got up to give Rolling Meadows much of a game today."