High School Sports

Kahoks lose to Barrington in third-place game

Collinsville performed better Saturday evening, but again came up empty at the Class 3A girls state soccer tournament at North Central College.

Playing without senior leader Sophia Sharos, the Kahoks surrendered a goal with less than 10 minutes to play and lost to Barrington 2-1 in the third-place match.

Collinsville, which lost 3-1 to Neuqua Valley in the semifinals Friday, finished 21-5-1. The Kahoks matched the accomplishment of the 1989 team that also placed fourth at state. New Trier defeated Neuqua Valley 2-0 in the state championship match.

“It’s definitely still bittersweet,” Collinsville senior midfielder Abby Wicklein said as she exited the field for the final time. “We didn’t get the outcome that we expected to get up here, but we worked so hard this weekend. I couldn’t be more proud of my team.

“Losing Sophie was harder than any other team could ever imagine. We worked just as hard as we possibly could. Getting fourth in the state is nothing to hang our heads about. We had a great road to get here and I couldn’t be more proud of my team. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. This was an amazing experience and I couldn’t ask for more.”

The Kahoks had every intention of winning the game for Sharos, who suffered a broken right leg in a second-half collision with Neuqua Valley senior goalie Hannah Parrish on Friday.

Sharos, a midfielder and one of the best players in the state, underwent surgery Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the day, she was visited at the hospital by the Neuqua Valley players, who signed a get-well card and presented it to Sharos. After the game Saturday, Collinsville players returned to the hospital to give Sharos her fourth-place medallion.

“We looked better than we did (Friday), all things considered, without Sophie,” Kahoks coach Clay Smith said. “They really wanted to come and win it for her, which is awesome. ... All in all, fourth place in the state with these other three teams that are here this weekend, it’s quite an accomplishment for these girls.”

The game was scoreless at halftime, as Collinsville sophomore goalie Megan Lerch kept Barrington off the board with two outstanding saves. She dived to her right to rob senior Ann Marie Niro in the 24th minute, then stopped freshman Michayla Herr in the final 10 seconds.

Early in the second half, Fillies senior Julie Szczesny headed a ball ahead and ran onto it on the right side, but her shot caromed off the far post and Collinsville escaped damage. Moments later, Barrington had a goal disallowed by an off-sides call.

Barrington, however, maintained the pressure.

Szscesny, who has signed with Loyola University, crossed from the left wing to Niro, a Notre Dame recruit, and Niro hammered in a shot from close range past Collinsville junior goalkeeper Julie Scheiter to give the Fillies (22-2-4) a 1-0 lead at 49 minutes, 27 seconds.

Scheiter tipped out a 30-yard free kick by sophomore Anna Brodejian in the 56th minute, and sophomore Maesyn Poidomani hit the crossbar from 22 yards out in the 59th minute.

Those missed opportunities came back to haunt Barrington when Kahoks senior Mikayla McCarthy scored in front for the Kahoks at 63:06, ripping a shot from deep inside the box past senior goalie Hannah Luedtke to make it 1-1. Sophomore Andrea Frerker had the assist.

McCarthy scored Collinsville’s lone goal in its loss Friday.

Barrington scored the winning goal at 70:32, as Niro struck again on another assist by Szczesny. Niro was deep in the box, and Scheiter had no chance to make the save.

“Mikayla gets a goal and then we pushed some numbers up and they got a late goal on a counter,” said Smith, who had shifted junior Kitty Besserman from defense to offense. “They’re hard to contain. They have some special players running up top and they’re very good with the ball. We were aware of that from watching them (Friday) night.

“(Niro and Szczesny) were the two most dangerous players. Barrington’s a tough team. They’re ranked nationally in the Top Drawer standings. We battled them. That’s just how soccer is.”

The Fillies’ defense did the job in the final nine-plus minutes.

“Ann Marie had a great end to her high-school career,” said Barrington coach Ryan Stengren, whose team outshot Collinsville 13-10. “Only two teams can end their season with a ‘W.’ It’s a very, very good thing today for us. It’s a positive for our kids to end on.”

Collinsville, which loses six seniors, vows to return to Naperville next season.

“Now we know what to expect. We’re planning to come back next year,” said junior defender Chayse Richardson, whose mother, Jamie Casillas-Richardson, was a junior in 1989 when Collinsville placed fourth at state. “It’s the end now, but we’re going to hopefully improve and be back.”

The Kahoks will depart Naperville early Sunday morning. Fans are welcome to greet the players in the school parking lot at 12:30 p.m.

A ceremony to recognize the team will be held at a later date.

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 618-239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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