ALGONQUIN – It took a strong kick from Barrington’s Mia Calamari and an acrobatic finish from teammate Molly Pfeiffer to start the scoring for the Fillies and break a scoreless tie.
With 15:47 remaining in the first half of the Class 3A Jacobs Sectional semifinal soccer match against Huntley, a penalty allowed Calamari to take a free kick about 10 yards out near the sideline. She hooked the ball toward the net and Pfeiffer dived just in time to head the ball in for the first goal in Barrington’s 5-0 win over Huntley.
Barrington will face Boylan, a 3-0 winner over Cary-Grove in Tuesday’s first semifinal, in Friday’s championship match.
“We knew we were going to have a hard time with their set pieces,” Huntley coach Kris Grabner said of Barrington’s two free-kick goals. “They are so big and strong, and Pfeiffer is ridiculous in the air. The diving head ball was great.”
Both teams showed toughness early on as the match became physical quickly. Grabner said after the match he knew his team had to play physically because it would be its only chance at slowing down an explosive Barrington offense.
Huntley’s players heeded that game plan, and it was evident the physical play made it tough for either team to get a good look at the net as players were thrown to the ground often and bumped off the ball, but it was the Red Raiders (17-5-1) who had the first good chances.
With 25 minutes left in the half, Taryn Jakubowksi recorded the first shot on goal in more than 10 minutes. Just a few minutes later she found some space behind the Fillies’ defense, but with a clear look she rifled one over the net.
The shot turned out to be the best chance the Red Raiders would be allowed for the rest of the match as the Fillies clamped down.
“My teammates gave me a lot of opportunities and I just tried my best to get it in there,” Jakubowski said. “It’s unfortunate it wasn’t our day, but we worked so hard.”
The Red Raiders worked hard to keep up with Barrington’s speed and did a good job in doing so. Fillies forward Jenna Szczesny raced all over the field, but Huntley defender Jenna Hermansen was right there and limited Szczesny’s chances aside from a second-half goal – Barrington’s third of the game.
“Really, outside of pounding that loose ball,” Grabner said, “[Hermansen] shut her down.”
Barrington scored its second goal on a free kick in the 44th minute to take a 2-0 lead. Huntley moved players up in order to try to generate offense, but Barrington took advantage and added three more late goals.
“[Huntley] looks at these games as rivalries,” Fillies coach Ryan Stengren said. “So we have to make sure to get up and be ready for them each time out.”