Girls soccer: Prospect puts itself in good position
The Mid-Suburban League East crown is still up for grabs, and Prospect's girls soccer team is doing its best to get a hand on it for good.
The Knights scored 2 first-quarter goals against host Hoffman Estates and held on to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Garber Stadium on Thursday. They earned 3 big points to pull within 2 points (at 18-16) of division-leading Buffalo Grove, which lost earlier in the day to Barrington.
The goals came from coach Tom Froats' super reserves, Abbey Danciu and Ashley Adams, who were brought on at the quarter-hour and soon made their mark on this important game to help the visitors stay in the title race.
"The East is coming down to the last couple of games of the season, so we all know what's at stake, and what we have to do," said Froats, who'd heard about Buffalo Grove's afternoon setback. "We cannot count on any help from anyone from here on out."
The Knights (5-3-1), who are even with Elk Grove in points, will play Barrington on Friday before wrapping up the regular season with Hersey on Monday.
Elk Grove still has Fremd and Schaumburg left, while Buffalo Grove closes its MSL slate against Palatine.
"Obviously we'd like to get 9 points in our final three games, and that's our goal, but we have to concentrate on Barrington first because that's going to be a game that we all have to be at our best," said Prospect junior Helen Siavelis, who helped keep things solid along the back line while the host Hawks (1-8-0) looked to play the role of spoiler on Senior Night.
Danciu finished in a crowd when the home side failed to clear Madalyn Ladd out of the area at 19 minutes.
Five minutes later, Adams added to the advantage with the eventual game-winner when she fired home from close range after a magnificent run carried her into the box.
"Abbey and Ashley are two of our first players off the bench, and both of them had terrific games for us," Froats said.
After a less than sparkling effort earlier in the week during a 5-1 loss at Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates showed the ability to bounce back from its disappointing loss with strong play. At times, it kept the visitors under pressure far longer that it would have liked.
Freshmen Avery Panek scored her seventh of the season when she placed her attempt past keeper Gianni Rossi, finishing a Molly Salerno looping corner.
Prospect opened the second half aggressively and created several dangerous opportunities.
But after missing out on increasing its lead, the Hawks came back with some spirited play to keep the Knights' faithful on edge until Siavelis, Natalie Marfilius, Kristina Suto and others tightened things up for Prospect until the final whistle.
Barrington 6, Buffalo Grove 0: When it won its first state championship in program history, Barrington finished atop the Mid-Suburban League with maximum points and an 11-0-0 record in league play.
With its 6-0 win over visiting Buffalo Grove (6-4-0) on Thursday, the Fillies (12-2-2, 9-0-0) are just two victories away from achieving another spotless league mark.
Barrington picked up where it left on one day earlier when storms ended this contest after 13 minutes with 3 goals, two from Ashley Prell, before going on to earn its comfortable win to stay in front of second-place Conant.
"This was an important 3 points to get today, but (today's game against Prospect) is even more important as it will set up our season finale with Conant on Saturday," said Fillies coach Ryan Stengren.
Barrington has 27 points, 2 points clear of Conant, which has just the Fillies remaining on its schedule. Stengren's club will play two games in the next two days to finish up.
"There's still work to be done for our team, but the girls know it's Prospect first, then Conant for the division," Stengren said.
Christine Batliner gave Barrington a quick 1-0 advantage on Wednesday.
She converted her penalty after a hand ball in the box sent the junior to the spot. But that was about it, as nasty weather came through Barrington Community Stadium to end the night for the two sides.
The Bison were without three players who are among their best: Macy and Alyssa Floro, and defensive wizard Bridget Reynolds. But Buffalo Grove kept Barrington under wraps until Prell went back-to-back within the span of 11 minutes to make it 3-0.
Sophomore Ashley Armando added another but only after play was halted when the Thor-Guard sounded seven minutes before the intermission.
Stengren, who was already without one of his top players, Tina Teik (illness), kept a handful of his starters on the bench when the second half began. He slowly took more off the bench as the Fillies continued to add to their lead.
Kara Jones, brought up from the junior varsity for this game, scored her first varsity goal one minute into the second period. Later it was another varsity newcomer, Emily Dunkel, who drove a 25-yard free kick into the back of the net.
"We've got some injuries we're dealing with," said BG coach Pat Dudle. "But right now, we've got to get some help from others while hopefully taking care of business when we play Palatine in order to get the division title and another trip to the Soccer Bowl next week."
Should the Bison do so, it would be their third in the last three seasons.