My oh my! Winning in November is not something too many teams get to experience, and tonight’s win over the Evanston Wildkits sure was a thrilling one for our boys! In a physical, hard fought, and skillful match, our Broncos did what we do… we found a way and got it done!
The game opened up well for the visitors, with their energy and skill resulting in a fair amount of play being had in the Barrington end of the field. Several of the Evanston players demonstrated why their team had lost only once in the twenty four games that had played entering the match. Up to the task, the Barrington side stepped up and made plays to deny Evanston a lead.
As the half moved forward, our Broncos increased their work and saw play tilt their way. By halftime, we had earned a 4-3 advantage in shots, and during the intermission we discussed how the game was there to be had.
Early in the second half, just as we did just 3 days earlier in the week versus Libertyville, we took a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute. This time Zach Carbonara received a pass from Kai Sebens, slipped himself past a pair of Evanston defenders and then calmy tucked his shot inside the far post. The Evanston keeper was frozen. The way the game was going, with neither team able to generate a wealth of opportunities, it appeared as if the 1-0 lead might be enough. Despite that sense, we continued to put together several sequences of brilliant play, patiently probing and skillfully moving the ball together. Gio Guarnero again orchestrated much of the play, and his teammates responded.
After a few series of great moments for the Broncos, Evanston started to have other ideas and started to pick up their play. It was clear they would not go down without a fight. As the Wildkits upped the pressure, a player (#11) collected a ball on the far left side of their attack and aggressively drove himself into a more central position. With a little more time and space than we would like to allow, he prepared a touch and unleashed an absolute cracker of a goal, bending into the back post and careening into the goal. Evanston was level and had gained the momentum.
The next few minutes saw the Wildkits continue to grab the game and work to create more chances. While they again had a majority of the play, the Barrington side did not falter, and didn’t allow anything of high quality to the guests.
The end of regulation came, allowing our squad to regroup, and at the end of the intermission we seemed ready to get back to it. In the first overtime, as both teams were playing with relentless effort, our boys found a way to get the upper hand. Michael Blanke was sent into the Evanston end through an Enrico Ruffolo ball. Blanke used his blistering speed to get behind his defender and get a big head of steam flowing. After dribbling past a second defender and into the box, he let his attempt fly, and he struck gold! His shot deflected off of the Wildkit defender closing on him, and redirected itself into the back of the net past the Evanston keeper! We were back on top 2-1 in the first OT!
We closed out the remaining time of the first overtime session and again regrouped during the short intermission. Switching from our 1-4-4-2 to a 1-4-5-1 in order to kill open space on the field, we used forwards Jordan Fermin and Klaus Pallan to whittle time off of the clock. Pallan was especially masterful in the closing minutes, as his strength, skill and balance all allowed him to shield the ball and hold up play. The tactic was effective enough it brought out the frustration of the Wildkits, drawing several fouls from them against Pallan. A couple of yellow cards were also shown.
The game ended.
We are headed to the IHSA State Finals!!
How awesome! GO BRONCOS!!!! YNWA!!!!
– Carbonara, Zach (Kai Sebens) — 44th minute
– Evanston (#11) — 65th minute
– Blanke, Michael (Enrico Ruffolo) — 87th minute