Defending against the wind, and with the metaphorical winds potentially out of their sails, the players on the DeKalb boys soccer team need a goal.
Alex Vaughn-Low scored what prove to be the winning goal with 16:29 left in the 70-minute game, giving the Barbs a win over Freeport for their third straight Barb Cup title in the tournament's fourth year.
"That was just a matter of guts and will to get that in the back of the net," DeKalb coach Brent McIntosh said. "It was huge. We still had a good almost 20 full minutes to defend against the wind. You can tell Freeport was starting to ascend into the game with the wind at their backs. So to get that counter I thought was critical to kind of knock them back a little bit."
The Pretzels (1-2) tied the game with 25:47 left on a one-timer from Dante' Euell off a counter attack, but Vaughn-Low's goal would give the Barbs the lead for good.
"Winning the Barb Cup is the first of our goals of the season," Vaughn-Low said. "We want to keep that Cup here at our school. When they scored that goal and tied it yup we knew we had to step it up a little bit and answer with another goal."
Freeport had a chance to tie the game late, with a shot hitting off the top of the crossbar and bouncing straight down, but rolling forward away from the next slightly until goalie Owen Smith, starting his first game of the year, was able to corral it.
DeKalb (2-0-1) scored in the 9th minute on a goal by Trevor Freeland, who has scored three of the Barbs' four goals this year. Jared Smith took the Barb corner kick, then bounced in the middle of the scrum center net and found its way to Freeland, who knocked it past Noah Berentes for the opening goal.
"Trevor is a key piece to our puzzle, obviously," McIntosh said. "He has a vast amount of experience and knows how to score goals. But when we can get other pieces involved offensively we are going to be a better team."
Every team in the tournament had at least one tie, and McIntosh said that parity made the win speak volumes about his team.
"It's very much a pride thing," McIntosh said. "It says Barb Cup on the trophy and it's a tournament we enjoy hosting. We feel it's ours to lose and we did a great job of keeping it in house of the third year."