DeKALB – For the Hinckley-Big Rock girls soccer team, the ultimate goal for the Barb Fest soccer tournament, which started Saturday, wasn’t necessarily to come away with a championship.
The tournament includes several Class 2A and 3A schools, so the Royals wanted to learn as much as they possibly could from playing against tough competition. And while they weren’t completely satisfied with a 4-2 loss to Yorkville and a 5-0 loss to Burlington Central, they gleaned plenty from the first of the tournament’s two days.
“I think we’ll take a lot out of it. We’ll learn from it,” midfielder Anne Klein said.“[Burlington Central is] very good at possession, they pass a lot and they have good movement.”
The Royals hung tough with Yorkville, whom they’ve beaten in the previous years, but they fell behind early against Burlington Central and trailed 2-0 at the half.
Lauren Paver had a chance to cut into the deficit early in the second half when she dribbled into the box, but her shot was high.
The Royals, who had a short bench because of injuries, couldn’t muster many more chances, but Burlington Central was able to tack on three more goals.
“We struggled because we were short on players, but it’s a chance for us all to step up and take responsibility for our positions and just keep fighting,” Andrea Binkley said. “We have to learn to possess the ball more. You can’t fiddle around with it or it’s just going to be taken away.”
The Royals will finish out the tournament next week when they close out pool play against Mendota before playing a final game for place. While they’re out of contention for the tournament title, that’s not what matters for the Royals.
“Do we have near the depth and level of talent that a Burlington does?” coach Paul Taeuber said. “No, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t give all we can and take something from every game.”
DeKalb has the opposite intentions at their own tournament.
Despite the strange start to the season, the Barbs have come together well early in the season. They came into the tournament not only expecting to contend, but they expected to blow teams out.
“We’ve had more experience together so we’ve meshed a lot,” Cardine said.
Kelli Cardine notched her first of four assists in DeKalb’s 7-0 win over Rochelle nine minutes in when her corner kick found Rachel Butler, who knocked in the first goal of the match. Cardine doubled the DeKalb lead with a shot from outside the penalty area.
Three minutes later, Cardine’s low cross found Leah Fassig, who finished from inside the six yard box. Sophie Dumbacher scored two goals in the match and Fassig and Morgan Beaty each added another.
DeKalb may not have been challenged on the first day as the Barbs also defeated Hall, 7-0, in their second game, but defender Rachel Torres said the Barbs were able to work on things they wouldn’t be able to in a close match.
“For people who don’t normally get playing time, they get the chance to get into the game, so that’s good, and we can work on the little things that we might not be able to in a tougher game,” Torres said. “Just connecting passes, working on keeping possession … Against tougher teams, it’s something that we need to be better at.”
Day One of Barb Fest
Yorkville 4, Hinckley-Big Rock 2 Burlington Central 11, Mendota 1 DeKalb 7, Rochelle 0 Indian Creek 2, Hall Township 0 Yorkville 5, Mendota 0 Burlington Central 5, Hinckley-Big Rock 0 DeKalb 7, Hall Township 0 Indian Creek 0, Rochelle 0
Upcoming matches April 20 Matches start at 9:45 am. DeKalb vs. Indian Creek; Burlington Central vs. Yorkville; Rochelle vs. Hall; Hinckley-Big Rock vs. Mendota
Placement matches 7th place, 11:45 am 5th place, 11:45 am 3rd place, 11:45 am Title, noon