ROCKFORD – Cary-Grove pushed and pushed on offense against defending Class 3A girls soccer state champion Barrington, even after the Trojans looked like they had conceded the game-winning goal with four minutes left in the second overtime.
Two minutes later, the Trojans’ push continued against Barrington’s stacked back line with senior midfielder Kelly Stayart spotting freshman midfielder Maggie Mason among a crowded penalty area, splitting a defender’s legs.
“We just really wanted to come back,” Mason said. “We know we’re a strong team, and we’re just as good as them. We’d been having good possession, and we were just making the push all game. Kelly got that ball through, and I just ran on it and got it down the line and past the keeper.
“I’m glad we were able to get it to [penalty kicks].”
Mason’s answer to Barrington’s overtime score sent Friday’s Class 3A Guilford Sectional final to penalty kicks, where the Fillies handed C-G a 3-2 (3-1 penalty kicks) defeat. Barrington won its 10th consecutive sectional title.
Barrington (18-3-2), which has three state appearances since 2013, will host a supersectional Tuesday against the winner of Saturday’s Geneva Sectional final between St. Charles North and Conant.
Stayart, who has been a part of three regional winners in four years on varsity, said not once did the Trojans think they were out of the game against Barrington.
“I didn’t want to lose. None of us wanted to lose,” said Stayart, who scored the game’s first goal in the 17th minute. “We wanted to play the entire game as hard as we could. ... It was incredible being able to tie the reigning state champions, and we gave everything and left it all on the field.”
Stayart scored in the first round of penalties for C-G, but the next three Trojans all missed their kicks. Michayla Herr, Madi Rosen and Tina Tiek all scored for the Fillies, while Barrington goalkeeper Sam Schmitz stopped three consecutive penalty kicks to seal the victory.
Cary-Grove coach Ray Krystal said he was most proud of the resilience his players showed throughout the season.
“What we did this evening, with a team that’s as good as Barrington is, it’s just a testament to what this Cary-Grove team is willing to do day in and day out,” Krystal said. “They’re not a group that’s ever gonna quit. They never even thought that they were out of it. They continued to battle and continued to fight.”
Freshman goalkeeper Lauren Passaglia made 15 saves for the Trojans (13-3-2) over 100 minutes, coming up with big save after big save, as the Fillies held a sizable advantage in shots.
Barrington’s Ashley Prell finally broke through for Barrington in the 50th minute on a give-and-go from Tiek, beating Passaglia on a point-blank shot. Neither team scored again until overtime.
With four minutes remaining in the second overtime, Prell sent a ball across the face of the goal, and Jen Devona flicked the ball back to Tiek to give Barrington its first lead of the game.
Stayart and Olivia Covelli were the only two seniors on the Trojans. Stayart sees big things ahead.
“My time at Cary-Grove has been amazing,” Stayart said. “Playing four years of varsity soccer, I’ve been able to make new friends, meet new people and know what it means to be a Trojan for sure.
“I think they’re gonna be really strong (next year). They’re really going to stick together and, as they get older, they’ll be great.”
STAR OF THE GAME
Cary-Grove, sr., F
Stayart scored the first goal of the game and assisted Maggie Mason’s game-tying score in the second overtime of the Trojans’ 3-2 (3-1 penalty kicks) loss to Barrington.
25: Points for Stayart this season (15 goals, 10 assists)
AND ANOTHER THING …
Barrington has won 10 straight sectional titles with three state tournament appearances since 2013.
Class 3A Guilford Sectional
Barrington 3, Cary-Grove 2 (3-1 penalty kicks)
Cary-Grove 1 0 0 1 – 2
Barrington 0 1 0 1 – 2
CG–K. Stayart (Ives), 17th
B–Prell (Tiek), 50th
B–Tiek (Devona), 96th
CG–Mason (K. Stayart), 98th
Goalkeeper saves: Passaglia (CG) 15, Schmitz (B) 5