The heavy rain today was so overwhelming, that it is rather amazing that we were able to get our game in. The deluge that came down was steady enough, and included regular bolts of lightning flashing, enough that the early game of today’s tournament was delayed for more than 90 minutes. After St. Charles North edged Lake Zurich by a 1-0 score, our Broncos were able to take the field and play, albeit with an abbreviated warm-up and almost no time on the field prior to the start of the match. At least we got to play!
Once we were able to get the game under way, we started out unlike ourselves, struggling to connect more than 1-2-3 passes, as our third or fourth balls were lobbed or lofted to our targets. Those attempts ended in lack of flow and possession, and raised Coach Steib’s blood pressure to it’s highest level so far in the young season. We made what we hope will be some uncharacteristic choices with the ball, and really lacked much composure in attack. A bright spot came in the 35th minute, when Nash Pirie was released down the left flank, beat his defender, and slotted a slick ball into a crashing Klaus Pallan, who managed to plow the ball through the Jacobs goalie. Behind a pair of excellent saves from Broncos keeper Alex Ruffolo, the game went into halftime with our boys leading 1-0.
Moments into the second half, a promising looking set piece for us turned into a disaster, when we ended up getting caught in a Jacobs break out, covering at least 90 yards. With some excellent effort and speed, a couple of knifing cuts and a clever give and go, Jacobs wriggled themselves into a breakaway with Ruffolo that he couldn’t manage to stop. A couple of Broncos had a chance to stop the counter attack but were not physically up to the challenge that the Jacobs attacker presented.
As the game moved forward, Enrico Ruffolo and Kai Sebens found themselves paired together in the central midfield, and their work seemed to make the game turn for the home side. Sebens won several aerial battles, as well as a few ground tackles, and Ruffolo added an element of elusivness and clever playmaking. Over the final 25 minutes of the game, Barrington not only took the lead when Caleb Orr poked home a rebound from a couple of shots from Sebens and Ruffolo, but we also managed to shift the game in terms of chances, possession and overall play.
The game ended with the Broncos victorious by the 2-1 score line.
Outside the counter attack that lead to the Golden Eagles goal, our back line of John Gadbois, Josh Coulter, Nash Pirie and Justin Funk did a lot of excellent work tonight. Of the 8 shots on goal by Jacobs, only 4 of them were inside the box (compared to our Broncos who took 9 total shots, of which 7 were inside the box.) Connor Delahunt and Jordan Fermin each found themselves with expanded roles tonight, and the pair each performed extremely well overall.
Congratulations Broncos! Despite the less than normal pre-game and some extremely wet conditions, you found a way to get us started in the tournament with a very important win! Well done!
BHS: Klaus Pallan (Nash Pirie) — 35th minute
JACOBS: #6 — 42nd minute
BHS: Caleb Orr (Enrico Ruffolo/Kai Sebens) — 58th minute