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After restart, St. Charles North soccer can't find groove

St. Charles North’s Natalie Winkates (right) walks off the field after North’s season-ending 3-1 loss to Barrington at  Wednesday’s IHSA Class 3A Barrington Supersectional.
Barrington 5/29/13
St. Charles North’s Natalie Winkates (right) walks off the field after North’s season-ending 3-1 loss to Barrington at Wednesday’s IHSA Class 3A Barrington Supersectional. Barrington 5/29/13

BARRINGTON – Nothing was going to stand in Barrington's way at Wednesday night's Class 3A girls soccer supersectional championship.

Not even a postponement from Tuesday or a valiant effort from St. Charles North's defense was going to deny the Fillies.

Barrington took control early, and used a pair of early goals to pick up a 3-1 victory over the North Stars.

With the victory, Barrington (18-4-1) earned a spot in Friday's Class 3A state semifinal at North Central College in Naperville.

St. Charles North (19-4-1), which staked momentum early in the first half after junior Sophie Pohl scored off Alex Gage's assist with 22:27 left in the first half Tuesday, seemed to lose its groove and never quite regained it after Barrington tied it shortly after and the match was postponed because of lightning.

"We got beat by two good goals and they played incredible for the second 40 minutes," North coach Ruth Vostal said. "It was an uphill battle after we fell behind and things could've ended differently had we snuck one in, but we'll learn from this and use it as a life lesson." 

North's only legitimate goal opportunity in the final 20:44 of the first half came on a free kick from Gage about 20 yards out, but her shot was deflected by Fillies keeper Hannah Luedtke.

"We didn't give 110 percent for that (final) 20 minutes (of the first half)," Vostal said. "We were working hard and doing the right things, but we just needed that extra effort."

From the onset of resumed play Barrington held possession for most of the time, but STC North held serve by stopping the Fillies first three shots. It wasn't until the 15:47 mark that Barrington broke through with a goal from Molly Pfieffer off a corner kick from Mia Calamari.

"They got two corner kicks and you can't give any good team two corners and expect them to come up empty," Vostal said. "We got beat."

Barrington's second goal came nearly seven minutes later when Jenna Szczesny broke away from two North defenders and and fired an unassisted shot in off the left side from 20 yards out that hit the right center of the goal.

North did have two opportunities at a goal on back-to-back corner kicks from Alyssa Brandt with 24 minutes remaining in the game, but both shots were blocked by the Fillies' defense. 

"I told the girls after the game that if you can walk off the field and you gave everything you had and still get beat by two good goals, then you did your best," Vostal said. "It's unfortunate, but only one team will be left standing at the end of the season."

North has earned a spot in the supersectional the last three seasons and graduates only nine seniors while returning more than half of its squad for next season.

"This is a huge learning experience for our younger players," Vostal said. "We talked about that last year when we made it to state. You can talk about it all you want, but until you live it that's when you experience it. So hopefully they've learned the life lesson that you have to fight every minute of every game to get to this point."

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