BARRINGTON – When the ball dropped to freshman midfielder Niklas Getzinger's feet in the first half, he stepped up, hit it cleanly and watched it ping off the post.
It was that kind of day for Crystal Lake South. The chances didn't come often, but when they did, they missed by inches. The Gators (2-2-0) ultimately lost, 3-0, to Lake Zurich (3-1) Wednesday, their second loss in two days at the Barrington Classic.
“[We played back-to-back days] against two very good opponents that are probably conference contenders in two of the best soccer conferences in the state, so I’m not going to lose too much sleep over it," South coach Tony Allen said. "That’s why we’re here. These teams are quality, and they get us ready for conference.”
Lake Zurich attacked from the get-go and dominated possession, but South's center backs, Andrew Perrine and Kennan Grissom, held their own with several crucial clearances.
But 20 minutes in, Lake Zurich's Ian Murray sent in a perfect ball that found Collin Foreman behind the defense, and he finished it perfectly just inside the left post.
Getzinger did his best to get the Gators back in the game. In less than three minutes, he sailed a shot over the crossbar, forced the Bears' goalkeeper into a tough save and hit the post. His team went into the break down 1-0, although it felt like much more.
"I thought I played pretty decent," Getzinger said. "I had a couple nice shots. Nobody on the team was taking shots, and if you get a shot, you have to take it.”
In the second half, Lake Zurich kept rolling. A low, driven shot from Collin Foote five minutes in had too much pace on it for Gators goalkeeper Dalton Krause to keep out.
And midway through the half, the Bears sealed it with a beautiful run and cross from Jacob Karbowski that found Foreman's head at the back post for his second goal of the game.
Still, South had its chances. The best one came early in the second half, when a corner kick from senior midfielder Ben Nyman found and unmarked Andrew Grabowski at the near post, but Grabowski just missed connecting with his foot.
A few minutes later, senior midfielder Ryan Russmann made a great run down the right sideline and connected in the middle of the box with a wide open Grabowski, who missed wide left.
Allen and his players weren't necessarily upset by the loss, but rather by the fact that they didn't play up to their standards.
“We are a better team than we’ve shown over the last two days, and I think that’s the biggest frustrating part for us right now," Allen said.
The Gators are at Barrington again at 5 p.m. Friday against St. Charles North.