BARRINGTON – A supersectional match isn’t an ideal setting to learn a lesson the hard way, but that’s how matters played out for the St. Charles North girls soccer team Tuesday night.
On the bright side, the North Stars have the chance today to make amends.
The North Stars went ahead, 1-0, with 22:27 left in the first half against host Barrington as junior forward Sophie Pohl collected an Alex Gage feed in the box and beat Fillies goalkeeper Hannah Luedtke.
It was a jubilant moment for the North Stars – perhaps too much so.
Just eight seconds of match time later, after racing upfield following a quick re-start, Barrington’s Jenna Szczesny deposited the tying goal into a wide-open net as North Stars goalkeeper Shelby Stitz and North’s defense seemed to be still in congratulatory mode.
“That’s never happened,” veteran North coach Ruth Vostal said. “I would love to look at the tape to see how that happened, if we were casual, but typically after a goal we’re not. We’re a little bit more focused. I would have to look at it and see.”
The bizarre sequence was not easy for either team to put out of mind considering lightning postponed the match just a couple of minutes later. After a delay of about an hour, officials announced the match would be resumed at 6 p.m. today with the score tied, at 1, and 20:44 left to play in the first half.
Vostal credited Szczesny for “an awesome play,” saying it’s the fastest she’s seen someone sprint upfield for a score.
“We learn something from every goal, and luckily that wasn’t with 8 seconds left or something like that to go ahead, that kind of deal,” Vostal said. “We’ll take it now, we learn from it, and we’ll come back [today].”
North (19-3-1) dominated possession for the match’s first 20 minutes – encouraging for obvious reasons, but also frustrating considering the North Stars don’t have a lead to show for it.
“Everyone makes mistakes,” Pohl said. “We’re just going to come back [today] stronger. I’m not mad. I’m totally confident we’ll get another one.”
Barrington (17-4-1) seemed to have Pohl reasonably well marked on her goal but the towering junior still found a way to uncork one of her typically heavy-footed shots.
“I had two girls on me,” Pohl said. “Honestly, I just took the hit and hoped it’d go in because we needed a goal.”
They got one, but Pohl and her teammates would have preferred to have more time to enjoy it. The teams now will have to hope a dicey weather forecast for today cooperates so that the winner has at least one day of rest to gear up for Friday’s 3A state semifinal.