Barrington and Wheeling entered their Mid-Suburban crossover showdown Tuesday with early season achievements and impressive statistics on their resumes.
Scoring against either team can be a difficult task as the two top-10 programs allowed just four goals between them in the first three weeks of the season.
Wheeling had yielded just one goal (against defending Class 3A state champion Warren) in nine games. Barrington, which was coming off an emotional 1-0 victory against rival No. 11 Palatine Monday night, had surrendered just three goals.
Wheeling had better opportunities, but Barrington found a way to thwart them at every turn. After 100 minutes, nothing definite was decided as the No. 6 Broncos and No. 8 Wildcats played to a 0-0 double-overtime draw in Wheeling.
The Wildcats (8-0-2, 2-0-1 Mid-Suburban East) mounted some furious pressure beginning in the 46th minute, which they sustained for roughly the next 20 minutes. In one bang-bang sequence, Wheeling’s Nathan Laude hit the crossbar and teammate Francisco Arellano headed the rebound, but Barrington star junior keeper Pat Deroche snared the ball.
Minutes later, Deroche made a spectacular diving stop off a rifle shot from Wheeling senior midfielder Jose Garcia.
Scoring chances continued to present themselves, but the Wildcats could not take advantage. In the 70th minute, Deroche made another great stab of a Garcia free kick from about 24 yards out.
“We were able to get behind their defense, but it was frustrating that we were not able to bury some of those shots,” Wheeling coach Ed Uhrik said.
Barrington coach Scott Steib knew his team was fortunate to escape with the draw.
“We weathered a lot out there,” he said. “That’s probably the most dynamic offensive team we’ve played all year. Their entire [offensive] middle, you’d love to coach any of those players because they move and know how to possess and attack,” Steib said.
“That’s been how we’ve played the whole year, and especially coming off a tough game last night [against Palatine], we haven’t scored a lot, but we’ve only given up [three] goals all season.”
The Broncos (7-1-2, 2-0-1 Mid-Suburban West) were able to muster some offense in the second overtime, which pleased Steib.
“I think we finally were able to wear them down a little at the end,” Steib said.
The Wildcats are one of the year’s surprise teams. Just 8-13 a year ago after two of its best players transferred to Buffalo Grove, Wheeling has already equaled its win total.
“We have a lot of underclassmen, and they’ve done a great job of playing hard and adjusting to the varsity game,” Garcia said.