Crystal Lake South, St.Charles North
seek to get back on track
Hot starts coole at Barrington Classic
By Mike Garofola
Fresh off a 2-0-0 start to the fall season, Brian Allen was anxious to see how his club would perform at the Barrington Classic Tuesday at the host Broncos' gorgeous stadium.
But after Red Group losses to the tourney host (2-0) followed by another to Lake Zurich (3-0), Allen will likely watch his Crystal Lake South club play its final match Saturday against Marmion Academy, the apparent fourth-place side in the White Group at the end of the day.
"We remain optimistic that in the long run, this tournament will have better prepared us for conference play in the FVC because of the quality of opponents we will have faced over the course of this week," said the Gators manager, who is just two wins shy of 100 in his eighth year at the helm.
"We obviously need to be better with our finishing touch after going scoreless in our first two games. We're getting some goods looks, just not in the quality we did in our first two regular season games."
This is the third-consecutive year in the Barrington Clasic for the Gators (2-2), who played previously for two seasons in the Lake Park tournament and hosted their own mini-tournament prior to that. Crystal Lake South went 0-2-2 here last fall, conceding three goals in pool play, but not finding the back of the net at the same time.
"We've got to get that breakthrough goal to finally end that streak for good," said Allen.
The coach will ask his lads to communicate better against St. Charles North at 5 p.m. this afternoon (Sept. 5), while concentrating on winning first and second balls, in addition to being a sharper, cleaner side in the final third in order to score that elusive goal.
Allen, an all-state keeper back in the day at Rolling Meadows High School who later played at DePaul University, likes what he's seen from his keeper, Dalton Kause. Versatile freshman Nikolas Getzinger has provided energy and pace in several different positions he's been asked to play thus far.
"(His) work rate has been very good, and his quick footwork, and quick and accurate shot in tight space has helped put the opponent on their heels," said Allen.
Kennan Grissom received high praise from his manager, and will asked to take over the role as the Gators man in the center of the backline after an injury to starter Jake Canfield in the Barrington match. The junior will likely miss the next two-three weeks.
"It all starts with our mental focus before and during the game, which in turn should help our technical ability, then allow us to do some of the things tactically we need to do in order for us to be better collectively as a team," said Allen.
St. Charles North (3-1) entered pool play with the desire to return to the championship match and hoist the trophy for the third time.
Coach Eric Willson's club beat the host Broncos in PK's in 2007 and defeated Boylan three years later for the top honor.
Last fall, the North Stars went 1-3-0, earning its lone tournament victory over Crystal Lake South with a 2-0 decision.
Wednesday evening Barrington dashed the hopes of a perfect record in pool play, and potential spot in tomorrow nights championship match with a 3-2 victory. St. Charles North fell behind 2-0 after 40 minutes.
"After that poor first half, we did not give up on the game, and fought our way back into it," said Willson. "If we can be consistent with our performance for 80 minutes, I really feel like we can compete with quality teams like Barrington."
Willson will lean on junior Garrett Morgando along the back, who fills in for his injured captain, Colin Kraft.
The North Stars, after finishing play here Saturday, host Larkin on Tuesday in advance of its opener at the PepsiCo Showdown on Saturday in LaGrange.