DeKALB – The DeKalb girls soccer team broke through in the final minutes to down the Belvidere Bucs 4-0 in the opening round of the Barbfest tournament.
“We always set the expectations high for this group,” DeKalb coach PJ Hamilton said. “I know we have a bunch of high character ladies and we’re going to enjoy tonight.”
Senior captain Siobhan Gallagher finally struck pay dirt with a shot that rifled off the fingertips of Bucs goaltender Geovanna Ibarra with 16:06 left in the game.
“It was a relief,” Gallagher said. “But you can’t stop there. You’ve got to keep going. It was nice to get that, but we all just kept working and that’s how continued to score.”
From there the floodgates opened, as Gallagher scored again less than a minute later to put the Barbs up 2-0.
With just under 10 minutes left in the game, Izi Myers-Miller added another goal and Olivia Olson put the final touches on the Barbs’ scoring with a goal late to put the Barbs up 4-0.
“I knew that once we got one, there were more coming,” Hamilton said. “Once we figured out some things spatially, I knew that we would create more dangerous opportunities.
The Barbs (1-1) dominated possession all game, but couldn’t find the back of the net until the waning minutes of the game.
DeKalb peppered the Bucs’ goal, but missed wide and high consistently.
“You can tell that we’ve been playing indoors,” Hamilton said. “We’re very congested and not using this whole pitch that we have here. I thought the last 25 minutes of the game were the best we played all year.”
The Barbs thought they had a goal in the opening minutes, but it was taken off the board because the Barbs kicked the ball out of the Bucs’ goalkeeper’s possession.
Belvidere (0-1) pulled starting goalkeeper Melissa Montoya Parra, who had stopped every shot, with 33 minutes left in the game in favor of Ibarra.
“Everybody gets a chance,” Belvidere coach Simon Stevens said. “It’s an early (season) game. We replaced both goalies this year, so we’re seeing what they can do and what they can handle.”
By the numbers: DeKalb goalkeeper Ali Yohanan didn’t face a single shot on goal for the entire game.
Beyond the stats: Gallagher barely missed out on a hat trick after her final shot attempt was barely knocked away by Ibarra.
They said it: “Once we scored that first one, we knew it wasn’t just going stop there,” Gallagher said. “We knew we had to continue to win the game, so that’s why I’m proud of my team for continuing to put in all the effort.”
Up next: DeKalb plays at home on Saturday at noon against West Chicago. Belvidere plays at DeKalb against Hononegah Saturday at noon on field two.