Girls Soccer: Naperville North blanks Barrington
It would be an oversimplification to say that Wednesday’s girls soccer game between Naperville North and visiting Barrington came down to two restarts sent to the back post – one that resulted in a goal, and one that didn’t.
But those two quality chances were bookends in a 1-0 win for North in a season opener for last year’s Class 3A state runner-up.
“We practice that play in practice and it was a great ball by Cora (Climo),” said North junior Christa Szalach. “I didn’t have to do any work except put my head on it.”
Climo’s free kick from 30-plus yards out on the left side found Szalach, whose head shot 14 minutes into the game provided the game’s lone goal.
Barrington’s Molly Pfeiffer hammered a head shot from nearly the same spot near the post in the game’s waning minutes, off a Mia Calamari corner kick, with one big difference for Fillies coach Ryan Stengren.
“We didn’t go with their runner down there, and (Climo) played a great ball. Molly Pfeiffer gets a good chance at the end of the game, but they go with her and block it,” Stengren said. “That’s how slim a margin it can be between a win and a loss.”
Naperville North (1-0) used its athleticism to great effect and a young team in Barrington (1-1) battled well throughout. Quality scoring chances were hard to come by either way, and in his first game as North’s head coach, Steve Goletz was glad to see his side finish on Climo’s serve.
“I know we take a lot of pride at North in restarts, both offensively and defensively,” he said. “We would have liked to generate a goal in the run of play but it’s always good to get one off a restart.”
Barrington won 1-0 over Naperville North in last year’s early-season meeting between the teams.
“They played hard throughout the game and never let up,” Fillies senior Sara Condon said. “It was good competition. This is one of the best teams in the country so playing a team like this can only help us.”
Naperville North is currently ranked No. 3 in the country in ESPN’s Powerade Fab 50 rankings, but Szalach hopes her team is shrugging that lofty status off.
“This is a new team and it’s a new year,” Szalach said. “It’s awesome that we’re ranked there but in my head it doesn’t mean much. I think that ranking is more about what we did last year and I think the girls are doing a good job staying modest about it.”