Girls soccer: Naperville North first to claim championship double
Some probably thought Naperville North didn't have a shot of beating two-time defending state champion Barrington.
The Huskies found a way to win without taking any.
Behind a pair of saves from goalkeeper Amanda Johnson in the shootout combined with successful penalty kicks from Leah Shumate, Emily Dulik and Maddie Schlecht, Naperville North stunned Barrington 3-1 in PKs to take Saturday's Class 3A title. Regulation and overtime finished 0-0 at North Central's Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
Naperville North became the first school to win a boys and girls soccer title in the same school year, winning its fourth girls title overall.
"What these kids did tonight defensively and just their willingness in battle was incredible," Huskies coach Steve Goletz said. "We rode out every runner, we tracked every ball that went into the box, we cleared every ball and A.J. (Johnson) obviously stood on her head at times in regulation and then in the shootout was incredible."
Naperville North (15-5-4), which nearly won as many games in the postseason (7) as it did in the regular season (8), didn't take a single shot in regulation or overtime and had just a pair of corner kicks.
Barrington (22-2-1) earned 10 corner kicks and took 14 shots, some which undoubtedly put scares into the Huskies, but each time the Fillies threatened the Huskies answered with a stop, including Johnson, who had 6 saves.
"We just worked out butts off," Huskies senior defender Reilly Riggs said. "We don't always have to be the better team and we knew coming into this we weren't. They had a lot of chances and we just had to literally battle the whole game and ran our legs to the ground. It's an amazing feeling to prove everyone wrong."
The Huskies lost to Barrington 2-0 in the season opener in March.
Christine Batliner and Rebecca Shomaker were among the Fillies who made things difficult on the Huskies, but they had to grow frustrated as their opportunities went unfulfilled, constantly stifled by the Huskies.
"We just keep battling," Huskies junior defender Emily Magee said. "We knew if we just put our hearts into it and gave it everything we got we would get what we needed to get done."
Huskies junior Leah Shumate converted her penalty kick to open the shootout. Johnson saved Barrington's first attempt.
Dulik made hers in the third round, but the Huskies missed their fourth attempt, providing an opportunity for the Fillies, but Johnson rose to the occasion with her second save of the shootout.
"I told some of the girls when we went into OT to just get me to PKs," Johnson said. "Let's do it again, get me to PKs again and I can do it. I was confident in all of our shooters and knew I could do the same thing as last night (against Lyons)."
Senior Maddie Schlecht, a first-year Huskie, then turned on the jubilation when she hammered home her penalty kick to seal the victory.
"I say it every time -- joining this team was one of the best decisions of my life," she said. "This is my family now. They work every day at practice and they are totally awesome. If I could do it all over again, I would."