Boys Soccer: Barjebo’s hat trick helps Thornton co-op take down Lincoln-Way East, clinch SouthWest Suburban Red title
BY STEVE MILLAR For Sun-Times Media October 15, 2013 9:36PM
Using his great dribbling skills, Thornton's #17 Emmanuel Barjebo is able to keep 3 Lincolnway players at bay during a game on 10/15/13. Thornton led 3 to 1 late in the game. | John Booz/for the Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 16, 2013 12:29PM
Thornton co-op had never won an outright SouthWest Suburban Red title and, as a senior and four-year member of the varsity squad, Emmanuel Barjebo had one last chance to change that.
In the Wildcats’ biggest match of the season, Barjebo was unstoppable, recording a hat trick to help Thornton beat Lincoln-Way East and win the Red outright with a 4-2 victory at Briggs-Ellis Park in Harvey.
“This means a lot,” Barjebo said. “We’ve worked hard for four years and we really wanted this.”
Thornton (16-2, 6-0) shared the Red crown with Stagg last season. Coach David Gonzalez said he believed the program’s last outright title came when he was a player in the late 1990’s.
Barjebo sealed the title with three minutes left. After East (10-6-2, 4-2) pulled within 3-2 when Bryan Dillberg scored off a Conor Hughes pass with eight minutes left, Barjebo got free on a counter-attack, took a pass from Farouk Amoo and scored on the breakaway.
The Griffins may be seeing Barjebo sprinting away from them in their nightmares after the match. The speedy forward got past the defense several times and could have scored even more. East goalie Sean McGovern (4 saves) came out of the goal to break up Barjebo breakaways three times.
“(Barjebo’s) not a handful at all is he?” East coach Ryan Decker joked. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny. Thornton’s a very dangerous team. We have to defend better. Allowing multiple goals isn’t going to cut it, especially in the playoffs.”
Barjebo was taken down in the box in the eighth minute and Ricky Estrada converted the penalty kick.
Alan Hernandez answered for the Griffins in the closing moments off the first half, scoring off a Kris Kirchoff throw-in.
Barjebo, though, scored the next two goals.
“I know my team always counts on me and I came out hard for them,” he said.
The teams could meet again in the wide-open Class 3A Andrew Sectional, where East is seeded third and Thornton fifth.
“We just have to keep working hard, keep winning and keep getting (Barjebo) the ball,” Thornton’s Francisco Carbajal said.