Barrington claims 3A soccer crown by topping New Trier in PKs – Chicago Tribune
As the Barrington girls soccer team lifted the Class 3A state-championship trophy after defeating New Trier in penalty kicks Saturday night, Fillies head coach Ryan Stengren paid tribute to the team’s 10 seniors.
“I just had a good feeling tonight. I have 10 seniors and I trust them, and it worked out,” said Stengren, whose team captured the first title in program history by prevailing 3-0 in a shootout after the game was scoreless through regulation and overtime.
“The word I use to describe (the seniors) is that this is the most focused group, and a team that has been dedicated to their goals from Day 1,” Stengren added. “I have a list of things they gave up to do this.”
Last week, the Barrington seniors skipped the school’s senior boat cruise, an event that ends at 3 a.m., and instead chose to have a quiet meal and see a movie as a team.
Then, a day before the championship game, the seniors were forced to miss Barrington’s graduation while playing in the Fillies’ 1-0 win against Downers Grove North in the state semifinals at North Central College in Naperville. The graduation made national news because it included a surprise performance by country music star Brad Paisley.
The seniors took part in a separate ceremony after winning the state title. The Fillies also got a police escort and posed for photos at a Barrington fire station.
“I wouldn’t want to do graduation or anything else. This is what I want,” said Barrington senior forward Anna Brodjian, a Tower Lakes resident. “I was hearing about graduation (from friends). Still, I would choose this over anything, winning with this team, with these players by my side . . . over anything.”
The Fillies (28-1) ended New Trier’s three-year lock on the state title, but only after a dramatic, late turn of events.
With the game scoreless and 100 seconds remaining, Barrington was whistled for a foul and New Trier was awarded a penalty kick. Had it been converted, the Trevians (24-3-1) almost certainly would have earned a fourth straight crown.
But New Trier junior defender Sydney Parker put her shot off the post. Then, sophomore midfielder Lily Conley steered the rebound just wide.
The miss was a sign of things to come for the Trevians.
In the shootout, Barrington junior midfielder Michayla Herr, senior defender Kayla Keck and senior midfielder Sophia Spinell all converted from the spot.
The Trevians missed the goal on two more penalties, with Barrington junior goalkeeper Sam Schmitz making a save between the two misses.
“I’ve been in shootouts during club soccer. I always try to read (the shooter) and pick a side, intimidate them as much as I can and just hope for the best,” said Schmitz, who lives in Barrington. “It’s on them to score.”
Schmitz was tested less than her New Trier counterpart, Katy Symanietz. But Schmitz made two important first-half saves: diving to stop a shot from Emma Weaver from close range, then tipping a Nicole Kaspi free kick over the bar. She saved another Kaspi shot with two minutes remaining in regulation.
“I have so much faith in (Schmitz),” Brodjian said. “I feel so comfortable with her back there. During PKs, I wasn’t even worried.”
Schmitz is scheduled to return to the team next year, but the Fillies will be looking to replace the seniors, most of whom first began playing together as second-graders at FCX Soccer Club in Barrington.
“We’ve been playing together forever,” said senior defender Jackie Batliner, who lives in Barrington. “To be able to end our career together with a state championship is absolutely surreal. It’s everything we could have asked for. Doing it with this group has been amazing.”
Dan Shalin is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.
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