Girls soccer: Barrington survives Hersey in 33rd MSL Cup

Barrington is the MSL champion once again - but it was not easy.

The Fillies would lift their 11th consecutive league trophy Wednesday night in Arlington Heights. But they struggled to get by resilient Hersey who put on a terrific 100-minute performance only to fall short 2-1 in overtime in the 33rd annual MSL Soccer Cup played at Roland Goins Stadium.

Junior Maddy Ziebarth steered in her header off a corner from Brooke Brown in the 83rd minute _ and her eighth goal of the season would hold up through both dramatic and intense 10-minute extra sessions.

"I knew we had to get a goal. And Brooke gave me a great ball into the box," said Ziebarth, whose defensive play in the middle of the park would help keep the Huskies

high energy and desire to end the Fillies (17-0-2) unprecedented hold of the league crown.

"Maddy's goal was a special set play that we thought we could expose in this game. And they executed that play perfectly," said Fillies coach Ryan Stengren.

The visitors had the better of the play from the opening whistle, and would threaten with a couple of half chances at Huskies keeper Alli Paulsen, who turned in a strong effort all throughout this night.

However, it was some quick ball movement from Brown, then Piper Lucier that led to Kate Lubinsky finishing with a sublime touch at the back post in the 12th minute.

"It was great to get that first goal, but we let up a little to allow them to get back in the game. Credit Hersey, they are a great team," said Lubinsky.

The Huskies drew back level, much to the delight of a big home side crowd when Ava Cismoski unleashed a low strike that went through a crowded Fillies box and just inside the far post in the 31st minute.

"We started to get back in the game before our goal. But after that the momentum began to go our way, and I thought we showed that we could play with one of the best teams in the state the rest of the way," said Cismoski.

The Huskies began the second half on their front foot, winning far more 50-50 and second balls than they had in the first period. They also got some terrific play from their backline, particularly outside-backs Anni Caliendo and Kiki Caliendo. The MSL East champs kept the pressure up on its guests.

When 80 minutes could not settle this contest, it was Ziebarth who would strike early in the first overtime just after Meg Mrowicki went over the bar.

The next best opportunity for the Huskies to equalize came at 93 minutes when the home side - during a frantic 30 seconds of play - flashed a trio of crosses through the Fillies box only to earn one corner in which the visitors would parry out of the area.

"Hersey gave us a tremendous battle tonight. It could have gone either way. But we defended well when we had to, and I thought Roos (Van Roekel) did a very good job against Meg (Mrowicki) who is one of the best, if not the best, forwards in the state," said Strengren.

"I could not have been more proud of this team tonight which fought and battled and played hard right up until the final whistle. (Just) a great overall effort, and one that we'll look to continue next week when regionals begin," said Huskies coach Mike Rusniak.

  Barrington's Ellie Sanchez, left, and Maddy Ziebarth chase the ball with Hersey's Meg Mrowicki (22) during Wednesday's soccer game in Arlington Heights. Paul Valade/
  Barrington's Annie Tarpey, left, and Hersey's Gracie Lisota eye the ball during Wednesday's soccer game in Arlington Heights. Paul Valade/
  Hersey's Ava Cismoski, right, celebrates her first-half goal with teammates during Wednesday's soccer game against Barrington in Arlington Heights. Paul Valade/
  Barrington's Piper Lucier, left, controls the ball near Hersey's Natalie Suto during Wednesday's soccer game in Arlington Heights. Paul Valade/
  Hersey's Abi Beck, center, jumps for the header with Barrington's Kate Lubinsky, left, and Ellie Sanchez during Wednesday's MSL Cup in Arlington Heights. Paul Valade/
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