Barrington outlasts Prospect to win 10th straight MSL girls soccer title
Two late first half goals were enough to send Barrington on its way to a record 10th consecutive Mid-Suburban League championship when the Fillies beat Prospect 2-1 Wednesday night at the 32nd MSL Soccer Cup at Barrington Community Field.
The Fillies (17-2-0) who came into this contest as the favorite -- found themselves chasing the game when confusion reigned in its own end. Prospect senior Hannah Mekky took advantage of one of the few opportunities on the night for the MSL East champions when she drove her angled effort off the far post, and into the net in the 28th minute.
"We made a mistake in our end, and they made us pay for it," admitted Nicole Gwiasda, who along with teammate, Brooke Brown, were named co-MSL West division Players of the Year during the intermission when, in fine tradition, the league honors each all-conference player from all 12 teams.
"We came very strong, but our effort fell off a bit when we conceded their goal, but it was our response is what I am most proud of," Brown added.
The Lady Knights (14-4-1), here for the first time since 2003, turned in a valiant 80-minute effort -- staying organized defensively, forcing the Fillies inside, and making sure to get numbers back in order to slow a high powered attack that is dangerous when given the opportunity.
"We might have been caught up a little in the moment at the start but Hannah's goal really energized us. We stayed the course after that first goal (but) in less than two minutes, the game turned around in their favor," Prospect coach Tom Froats said.
Sophomore Sarah Sarnowski would level things in the 39th minute with a magnificent return shot into the upper right corner after Kaitlin Taylor's first attempt rattled off the bar.
Sixty seconds later, Grace Stagnito ran freely onto a Brown corner to head the eventual game-winner into the back of the net.
The Fillies hit the bar twice and went just wide of the post on four other occasions, but the Lady Knights held firm, thanks in part to a strong effort from keeper Lily Barich, who kept her club in the match right up until the final whistle.
"I cannot be more proud of the effort of this team tonight against such a great opponent," said Froats.
"We've only trailed in two games this season, so to see the girls keep their focus and composure after that first goal we gave up says a lot about them, and is a great lesson to learn from going forward," said Fillies coach Ryan Stengren, who has a league best 11 league titles in his career.