The final match of the 2016 Mid-Suburban League regular season had us on the road against the Elk Grove Grenadiers. While on the surface, this game wasn’t exceptionally meaningful for either team, a deeper look showed each had some underlying reasons to play well and go for the win. This evening was “senior night” for Elk Grove, and for many of their players this would be their final match at home. This game also provided EGHS with a chance to knock off one of the top squads in the league. For the Broncos, a chance to finish the season 11-0 was at stake. Barrington also came into this game knowing that it was their final rehearsal before the MSL Cup conference championship game.
The game started a little late due to the senior night festivities, but once it began Barrington came out firing. Within the first five minutes, the Broncos realized that the high line played by the Grens defense would allow for balls played over the top or slipped behind the back line. The first three breaks would see Barrington miss some high quality chances just wide or a little high. The fourth chance would not be squandered. Klaus Pallan ran onto a terrific ball from Kai Sebens, calmy pushed the ball past the Elk Grove keeper and gave the visiting squad the lead. Just four minutes later, Elk Grove equalized on a bomb of a shot from nearly 40 yards out. The Broncos defense seemed a little surprised by the attempt, and even more so by the velocity of the shot.
Pallan struck again seven minutes later to regain the lead for Barrington. This goal came in similar fashion to the first, with Pallan able to leak in behind the Grenadier back line again and this time collect a nifty chip from Enrico Ruffolo. Pallan scored his team high 24th The 2-1 lead for the Broncos would hold until halftime.
Just two minutes into the second half, Kai Sebens provided the Broncos with a two goal lead and scored what would end up being the game winning goal. Sebens gathered a loose ball in the middle of the park, glanced at the goal and the Elk Grove goalkeeper and skillfully placed a lofted shot over his head and reach and into the back of the net. Barrington seemed to gain a lot of momentum from this goal, and not too long after the lead was stretched to 5-1 as Michael Blanke and Alex Ramirez would each tally goals, with Alex Ramirez also earning the assist on Blanke’s goal and Connor Delahunt on the Ramirez effort.
Elk Grove would keep coming and refuse to concede, eventually scoring a second goal in the 62nd minute through a set piece from the left side. A Grenadier attacker managed to wriggle free of the Bronco defenders and placed a glancing header into the side netting at the far post. While we weren’t pleased to give up a second goal, a fair amount of credit goes to the Elk Grove player who won the challenge and scored the goal bringing the deficit back to three goals at 5-2.
The last ten minutes of the game would see Barrington tack on two insurance goals. Kyle Owen, just back from injury would add a goal on a fantastic run into the box where Jordan Fermin found him for a crisp one-timer. (Kyle worked hard not only for the goal, but also to get back on the field after a serious hamstring tear early in the season. It was great to see him get in on the act!) The other Barrington goal came courtesy of a penalty kick, earned by Alex Ramirez who carried the ball into the box where he was tripped up. Enrico Ruffolo converted the penalty making the score 7-2.
Elk Grove would have one last chance when they were awarded a PK of their own, however Bronco goalkeeper Brett Sprengel would deny the chance and close out the game at 7-2. A great way to cap a terrific MSL campaign for Barrington, who end with a perfect 11-0 record in league play. Well done boys.
Next up: Barrington sets their eyes on a match against either Hersey or Wheeling in the MSL championship on Thursday, October 13th.
Pallan, Klaus (Kai Sebens) — 10th minute
Elk Grove — 14th minute
Pallan, Klaus (Enrico Ruffolo) — 21st minute
Sebens, Kai (UA) — 42nd minute
Blanke, Michael (Alex Ramirez) — 55th minute
Ramirez, Alex (Connor Delahunt) — 60th minute
Elk Grove — 62nd minute
Owen, Kyle (Jordan Fermin) — 71st minute
Ruffolo, Enrico (PK -Alex Ramirez) — 74th minut