Boys soccer: Barrington tops Buffalo Grove for MSL title in PK classic
At the moment of Daniel Hesselbein's second spectacular spot-kick save, his teammates ran to their heroic keeper to celebrate Barrington's thrilling victory over Buffalo Grove Thursday night in a shootout at Grant Blaney Stadium in the 44th Mid-Suburban League Soccer Bowl.
The senior stopped two of four attempts from the Bison (10-2-0) with Junior Hernandez bagging the Broncos' (9-3-0) game-winner to give the MSL West champs a 3-2 advantage, and 2-1 victory to lift the big trophy for the fourth time in program history.
"It's been a real journey with this group of players with seven of them on the varsity as sophomores, then making this terrific run down the stretch to win our last five games to get into the championship game, and win it in exciting fashion," said a proud Barrington head coach Scott Steib, whose team defeated Buffalo Grove in 2017, also in a shootout, to win a MSL crown.
"It was an amazing game, one that went back and forth all night long, which was what I expected," said Hesselbein.
"As the game went on it became kind of a messy fight between two good teams, but I thought in that second overtime we created some good chances, and came alive, which we took right into shootout."
Long before the contest went 100 minutes without a winner, both sides took turns enjoying the run of play with the Broncos having the best of it in the first quarter hour.
However the Bison, who came into this game with the best overall record in the league, all with four freshmen in its first eleven, finally came into the game to help even things out into the first intermission.
The Broncos broke on top just three minutes into the second period when a well-driven free kick from the midline by Hesselbein was flicked forward by Jon Cidulka to Nate Horn, who was in perfect position inside the six to redirect his header into the back of the net.
Cidulka nearly doubled the Broncos' advantage with his close-range header if not for a valiant save from Bison keeper Charlie Mancilla, who like his counterpart turned in a marvelous performance between the sticks for the home side.
MSL East POY Brian Perez began to make his presence felt and it wasn't long before the senior equalized for his club when he converted his spot kick at 57 minutes, his 16th goal of the season, after teammate Giovanni Trujano was hauled down just inside the box.
Both sides went close during a frantic final ten minutes of regulation but it was Hesselbein who came to the rescue of the visitors with a pair of brilliant challenges far off his line to stop both Alexis Escobar and Perez before each could have a go.
Trujano and Aiden Lew were perfect in the first round of shootout, however a big save from Hesslebein turned away Perez, then Escobar in round four while teammates Jeremiah Gascho, then Hernandez, finished off the Bison for good.
"It's all about being confident in PKs and I felt that way from the very first moment, so this is a great night for our team and Barrington soccer," said a proud Hesselbein.