Girls soccer: Barrington blanks St. Charles East, earns state berth

  • St. Charles East's Yazmin Martinez, left, and Mackenzie Loomis and Barrington's Kaitlin Taylor collide as they battler for a bouncing ball at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      St. Charles East's Yazmin Martinez, left, and Mackenzie Loomis and Barrington's Kaitlin Taylor collide as they battler for a bouncing ball at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Nicole Gwiasda heads the ball as St. Charles East's Kara Machala tries to kick it at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      Barrington's Nicole Gwiasda heads the ball as St. Charles East's Kara Machala tries to kick it at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Mackenzie Loomis heads the ball against Barrington's Sarah Sarnowski at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      St. Charles East's Mackenzie Loomis heads the ball against Barrington's Sarah Sarnowski at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Nicole Gwiasda gets a hug from herald coach Ryan Stengren at the end of the win against St. Charles East at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      Barrington's Nicole Gwiasda gets a hug from herald coach Ryan Stengren at the end of the win against St. Charles East at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Grace Williams takes the ball from Barrington's Gracie Stagnito at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      St. Charles East's Grace Williams takes the ball from Barrington's Gracie Stagnito at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Grace Williams controls the ball against Barrington's Gracie Stagnito, left, and Caitlin Paul at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      St. Charles East's Grace Williams controls the ball against Barrington's Gracie Stagnito, left, and Caitlin Paul at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Kara Machala and Barrington's Kaitlin Taylor battle at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      St. Charles East's Kara Machala and Barrington's Kaitlin Taylor battle at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's St. Charles East's at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      Barrington's St. Charles East's at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Sarah Sarnowski tries to head the ball as St. Charles East's Anna Champine kicks it at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      Barrington's Sarah Sarnowski tries to head the ball as St. Charles East's Anna Champine kicks it at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Nicole Gwiasda, middle, with teammates at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      Barrington's Nicole Gwiasda, middle, with teammates at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Libby Thomas controls the ball against Barrington's Sarah Sarnowski at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      St. Charles East's Libby Thomas controls the ball against Barrington's Sarah Sarnowski at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Kaitlin Taylor and St. Charles East's Alli Saviano compete for the ball at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      Barrington's Kaitlin Taylor and St. Charles East's Alli Saviano compete for the ball at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Ella Stehman heads the ball against Barrington's Kathleen Baker at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      St. Charles East's Ella Stehman heads the ball against Barrington's Kathleen Baker at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Mackenzie Loomis takes an elbow to the face from Barrington's Sarah Sarnowski at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      St. Charles East's Mackenzie Loomis takes an elbow to the face from Barrington's Sarah Sarnowski at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Ella Stehman heads the ball away from Barrington's Gracie Stagnito at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

      St. Charles East's Ella Stehman heads the ball away from Barrington's Gracie Stagnito at the Class 3A Barrington girls soccer supersectional on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/31/2022 10:00 PM

Barrington will play in its 12th state tournament in program history Friday afternoon after its 3-0 victory over St. Charles East Tuesday night in its Class 3A supersectional before a big crown at Barrington Community Stadium.

The Fillies (22-2-0) weathered an early storm with the Saints in this highly anticipated contest. Then Brooke Brown and Sarah Sarnowski took matters into their own hands after a Gracie Stagnito free kick to give the home side the only goal it would need to defeat the Saints for the second consecutive supersectional at Barrington.

 

"It was a gritty, hard-fought effort that helped us get this win," said Fillies senior Nicole Gwiasda, whose box-to-box play, incredible work rate and incredible ball winning skills helped the MSL champions prove too tough an obstacle for Vince DiNuzzo and his Saints (20-5-2).

"(Their) early goal wasn't much of a setback, but that late goal just before the half took something out of us. And although we created a few chances on the night, (they) were the better team and deserve to move on," said DiNuzzo, who did a masterful job of piecing together a club that lost eight starters from last year's 22-1-1 team.

"At the start of the season, I don't think a lot of us would have thought we would have come this far. (But) we were a very tight bunch who played for each other and came together to have a great season," added Saints senior Libby Thomas, who will attend Taylor University in the fall.

When the visitors were unable to only half clear a Stagnito free kick out of their own end, Sarnowski was able to keep the ball alive long enough to allow Brown to steer in her close range effort in the 12th minute.

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Stagnito's long-range free kick -- into a strong wind -- found its way into the upper right hand corner despite Saints keeper Sidney Lazenby getting a glove on the 35-yard effort. That gave the Fillies a two-goal advantage heading into the intermission.

"We work all of the time trying to put something on frame when we have the opportunity, and fortunately my shot ended up in the back of the net," said Stagnito, who along with her back line mates Kathleen Baker, Caitlin Paul and Ellie Sanchez have yet to concede a goal in five postseason matches.

Gwiasda was clever in her positioning to win the ball, and quickly put Piper Lucier through on the right side. When the freshman was taken down in the box, Brown put the game nearly out of doubt when she converted her spot-kick to increase the Fillies' lead to 3-0 in the 44th minute.

Fillies keeper Abby Raynor saved her shutout in the 59th minute with a brilliant save on a 25-yard cracker from Kara Machala.

"After playing away from home during the past two weeks of the playoffs, it was great to come back to our stadium, before a big crowd, and grind out a big win with so many of the girls contributing to help us beat a great opponent," said Fillies coach Ryan Stengren, whose club will play Evanston (21-2-1) at 5 p.m. Friday at North Central College in Naperville.

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