Boys soccer defeats Barrington 8-1 in Sectional final

Senior captains (left to right) Greg Krikorian, Ryan Wittenbrink, and Riley Hoff with their hard-earned sectional plaque after their 8-1 win on Friday night at Fremd High School

The LHS varsity boys soccer team won their Sectional championship game at Fremd High School against Barrington, 8-1, on Friday, Oct. 27, qualifying for super sectionals on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The game was a rematch from last year, when Libertyville and Barrington played each other in the sectional finals and Barrington won 1-0, preventing LHS from advancing.

This year’s game was a stark contrast from the nail-biter of last year. Varsity coach Kevin Thunholm kept the team motivated at halftime by reminding them Barrington wasn’t going to quit, so neither could they.

Libertyville will be going to super sectionals this upcoming Tuesday and will play against Glenbrook North. Thunholm isn’t worried about the team they face, though: “[Libertyville] will focus on what we do, and not what they do.”

LHS was offensive-minded throughout most of the match, keeping the ball just outside Barrington’s penalty box and dominating possession. The team started off strong with a 5-1 lead by halftime.

The Libertyville defensive line prevented any Barrington breakaways, but they attempted to pass through give-and-go’s usually cut off by the LHS midfield. Barrington had their first shot on goal 17 minutes into the first half.

Libertyville senior Ryan Wittenbrink scored first with a header four minutes into the game off a corner kick by senior Greg Krikorian, and Wittenbrink ended the match with five goals and multiple assists. Evan Rasmussen scored with a header, followed by a tap-in by Thomas Smithey. Ryan Klainos scored on a free kick, burying the ball in the low right corner of the net with his left foot. Barrington’s goal was scored with nine minutes left in the first half in a scuffle just outside the Libertyville box.

They played aggressively in the midfield in second half especially to combat Barrington’s having the wind on their side. Thunholm stated that during halftime, “[The team] talked about if we got another [goal], we would play a little more defensive-minded, but our focus would be the same, from the kick-off through the second half.”

The lopsided score surprised Thunholm; he admitted, “We played probably the best game we’ve played all year long, but we didn’t see [this] outcome.” The team’s wide lead allowed Thunholm to give all players field time.