Girls soccer: Barrington hands St. Charles East 1st loss, headed back to state
For the fourth season in a row, Barrington's season, one way or another, will end at the Class 3A state soccer tournament.
The Fillies won back-to-back state titles in 2017 and 2018, and were runners-up to Naperville North in 2019.
Their final chapter for 2021 is still to be written after Barrington handed St. Charles East its only loss of the season 1-0 in the Class 3A Barrington supersectional on Tuesday.
"I think it's super exciting. I think it's awesome to be back," Fillies goalkeeper Coast Liapis said. "Just with a new group, making sure everyone gets to experience it. I think it's going to be so fun. I can't wait to see what we bring."
"We've been on a journey from the beginning of the year," Barrington coach Ryan Stengren said. "I told the girls last game after the sectional final: We've had a huge season of growth from the first preseason [practice] to now."
Barrington (17-1-2) advances to face another unbeaten, Lyons Township, in Friday's 4:30 p.m. Class 3A semifinal. St. Charles East ends its season at 22-1-1.
The lone goal in Tuesday's game was headed in by junior Riley Raynor in traffic on a corner kick set piece with 33:38 left in the second half.
"It was a really good ball. I think even if I didn't header it, it still would've gone in," Raynor said. "But Jen [Devona] just had a really good ball. We saw an opening for the play and it all just worked out."
St. Charles East had numerous quality offensive chances down the stretch of the second half from Hannah Miller, Jenna Sitta and Ashley Stellon, but Liapsis and the Fillies' back line turned them away.
That's nothing new. Barrington has not surrendered a goal since May 12.
Despite the loss, St. Charles East enjoyed a memorable spring season. The Saints' undefeated regular season included the 600th win in program history. St. Charles East went on to win regional and sectional titles, beating rival St. Charles North in the sectional final, and nearly reached the program's first state tournament appearance since 2014.
"It's a lot to be proud of, and it's hard for the girls to kind of look at that right now, but I'm proud of this group," St. Charles East coach Vince DiNuzzo said. "Four of them have never played with a Saints jersey on. To step in and do what they did this year -- and the style and brand we played with -- it was fun and entertaining soccer."
"I think we had a lot of parents and people compliment the way we were playing," DiNuzzo continued. "Unfortunately, I wish we could play two more. But, we'll miss these seniors. It's a good group of kids."
The Saints will graduate 11 seniors from their roster.
"I'm just so proud of all [that] this team has accomplished," said Miller, a senior. "We accomplished some of our biggest goals and we made it further than we did last year. And, the furthest that I've ever been on the team. I'm proud of all the effort and just all the heart every girl had for this season."