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O’Fallon takes 2nd state title, leaves Barrington in its wake

By Patrick Z. McGavin , 06/04/23, 10:45PM CDT


Mc Minn score in 98th minute gives Panthers 1-0 victory 

NAPERVILLE — In a contest of movement, intensity and emotion, logic does not always follow in predictable patterns.

The margins always collapse the more important the game. Mitigating failure — without getting frustrated or losing focus — is the only path forward.

The game is about force, power and skill, but sometimes the most impactful player turns out to be the smallest.

“I was just playing my game, and doing what we have practiced all year,” said O’Fallon forward Allie Tredway with a radiant smile. “I knew I’d have my teammates in the box, and they’d be there to support me.”

Her explosive, first step was easy to admire and impossible to completely neutralize.

In a stalemate, the sophomore made herself the hero.

Her creativity and drive in the 98th minute created the exhilarating breakthrough moment against northern state-power Barrington.

Tredway delivered the perfect pass to star forward Kiley McMinn, who calmly settled the ball and hammered home the game-winner from six yards for the double-overtime shutout victory in the Class 3A state championship game at North Central College on Saturday night before a crowd estimated at 500.

Tredway jitterbugged past a defender, and drove down the left edge before slotting the ball.

“With Kylie I always know that she is going to be in the box, and she is going to get there,” Tredway said.

“If it’s not her head, it’s going to be her knee, or something. She is going to find a way to be on the ball.”

O’Fallon (21-3-1) captured its second state championship in the last three years.

McMinn was the connective thread.

“I saw Allie dribbling down, and I was trying to find a space to open up and find a pocket. She just found me with the ball,” McMinn said. “I made sure I had the composure in front of the box.”

The Panthers also deprived the Fillies (23-1-2) of finishing the year as the state’s only undefeated team.

McMinn also danced into the history books, becoming the rare player to score the game-winner in two different state championship games.

Her free kick against Lyons gave the Panthers the 1-0 victory in 2021.

“That means so much,” McMinn said.

She finished her season with a remarkable 49 goals and 11 assists.

The staggering part is that she is the Panthers’ only senior starter.

“Right now, I am literally speechless, and I was crying earlier about everything,” she said. 
“That is how much it means to me.”

The Fillies suffered their second-consecutive heartbreaking loss in the state championship game. 

“It was a great game, and they were a very good team,” coach Ryan Stengren said.

Barrington played well enough to win, and created some scintillating scoring chances, especially by leading scorer and junior forward Sarah Sarnowski, in the first half.

Sarnowski drilled a half volley from about 11 yards off a ball from Piper Lucier in the 12th minute that Panthers’ keeper Kendall Joggerst snared.

In the 34th minute, forward Brooke Brown played Sarnowski a ball down the left channel that created a one-on-one threat.

Quick and dynamic in space, Sarnowski had been on a tear during the state tournament

She scored a hat-trick in the 5-3 supersectional victory over St. Charles North and had a goal and assist in the 5-0 victory over Libertyville in the Friday night semifinal.

Sarnowski was unable to get the ball past the lanky and dynamic Joggerst, who posted her 14th shutout.

“They’re a really good team, and they had some good shots, but Kendall and our defense have just been really good,” Tredway said.

O’Fallon only permitted one goal in the state tournament.

“Obviously I have a really good defense and backline in front of me with the midfield and everything, and I just knew that it was going to be a hard game,” Joggerst said.

The junior is a first-year starter.

As skilled and gifted as Barrington is, the team went scoreless in 100 minutes of play for the second-straight year and third in a row in championship matches.

The Fillies have managed only one goal in its five state championship games since 2017.

“The state championship game is filled with nerves and a pressure to execute our style of play,” Brown said.

“We have been in emotional games throughout the year that prepared us to invite the emotions we experience.”

Each team had its moments, frenzied actions and intense byplay that characterizes any championship performance.

“O’Fallon was a very talented, organized, and technical team that tested us in different areas of the field,” Brown said.

O’Fallon’s victory over Lyons two years ago is the only 3A championship game since 2016 that was decided in regulation.

Overtimes and shootouts are an almost inevitable outcome.

Barrington won back-to-back shootout championships over New Trier in 2017 and 2018.

The Fillies experienced shootout losses against Naperville North in 2019 and Metea Valley last spring.

“When you have two great teams playing against each other, it comes down to plays and inches,” Stengren said.

“You are only going to have three or four good chances, and you have to be able to convert one or two of them. Sarah was there a couple of times.”

Barrington had 16 shutouts, and allowed just St. Charles North to score during the state tournament series. 

Sophomore Megan Holland was a revelation in her first year as the starter.

Physical, tough and aggressive, she played with a fearlessness and high-wire energy that was dazzling and overpowering.

O’Fallon is very skilled at the top of their attack with McMinn, Tredway and forward Emerson Nieroda

Holland stopped a couple of rocket balls by McMinn — one in the first half and a second in the 70th minute.

Nieroda had a header, and another rebound ball that Holland seized.

After the game, Barrington focused on the bigger picture.

“This team was beyond resilient, and I envy the qualities we embody,” Brown said.

“I only hope the captains and I were able to transfer the culture and tradition to the entirety of the players. We have a lot of young players who embraced the process.”

Typical of the topsy-turvy and unpredictable flow of the action, the programs alternated taking body swings at the other.

O’Fallon clearly had the better play in the final 30 minutes of regulation.

The stellar play of Holland and the strong and athletic Barrington backline that featured Ellie Sanchez, Meredith McGreevy, Roos VanRoekel and Hannah Blue created a series of rhyming, dramatic crosscutting between the two.

“They finished when they needed to, and we were unfortunately not able to put one in the back of the net,” Sanchez said.

“They were a good team. They gave us a good fight.”

Every championship game contains multitudes. The absence of scoring was also a byproduct of some superb individual defensive actions.

O’Fallon right outside back Lailyn Patterson was fantastic with slowing down, disrupting or stripping Sarnowski of the ball in several dangerous encounters.

Sanchez did the same tracking and following McMinn.

The Marquette recruit was tough to stop entirely.

“I was getting some deja vu during the game tonight, because both teams we played in the state championship were undefeated,” McMinn said.

“We were trying to get a goal off a dead ball, like the last time, but that didn’t work. We will take whatever goal we can get.”

O’Fallon has five players who are ranked nationally in their age group by Top Drawer Soccer.

At just a wisp over five-feet tall, Tredway creates a distinctive buzz on the field. She earned the Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match honor for her outstanding play.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Tredway said. “It still feels unreal that we won.

“We really looked up to the team that won two years ago. I feel like we have used them and tried to match the energy this year with any game that we got into.

“We’d like to go into games thinking about that team, and how we needed to match up to them because they were so good.”

Now this O’Fallon team stands astride that pathbreaking team.

The game can turn on a dime.

“I felt like in the two overtimes, we had the ball in their end the whole time, except for when they scored,” Stengren said.

Barrington has reached the state Final Four eight times in the last 10 years.

The Fillies have two state championships, two third-place finishes, a fourth-place award and now three runner-up trophies.

“I am so proud to be a part of this program and play with these girls,” Sanchez said. 

“It’s such an honor, and it’s made me the person and player that I am.”

Barrington started four seniors — Brown, Sanchez, McGreevy and forward Kate Lubinsky.

“I am going to miss them,” Stengren said. “They’re the same age as my own kids, and they have grown up together.

“The kids took the loss really hard, but they’re tough. There are a lot of programs who’d have loved to be in our position of five state title games in six years.”

Starting lineups

GK: Kendall Joggerst
D: Finley Scott
D: Regan Schreckenberg
D: Addison Baldus
D: Lailyn Patterson
MF: Ella Peterson
MF: Sadie Mueller
MF: Claire Nieroda
F: Allie Tredway
F: Emerson Nieroda
F: Kiley McMinn

GK: Megan Holland
D: Hannah Blue
D: Meredith McGreevy
D: Roos VanRoekel
D: Ellie Sanchez
MF: Brooke Brown
MF: Maddy Ziebarth
MF: Kaitlin Taylor
F: Sarah Sarnowski
F: Piper Lucier
F: Kate Lubinsky

Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match: Allie Tredway, so., F, O’Fallon

Officials: Dylan Kramer (center); Rod Schaefer (AR1); Michele Waldbeesser (AR2); Alex Kuvshininkov, Jr. (4th)

Scoring summary

First half
No scoring

Second half
No scoring

First overtime
No scoring

Second overtime
O’Fallon—Kiley McMcMinn (Allie Tredway), 98th minute