The Evanston boys soccer team must have had a sour taste in their mouths after finishing last season with a loss to conference-rival Niles North in double overtime in the Sectional semi-finals. With this season getting underway on Aug. 26, the Wildkits had a chance to get rid of that sour taste and to redeem themselves in a face-off with Wheeling to open the season.

In that game, Evanston sophomore Alex Kombwa scored the first goal of the season, but the Wildkits could not hold on to the early lead as the game ended with a 2-2 tie. Evanston trailed with less than two minutes remaining, but a late goal by junior Bill Zunamon tied the game and took away any thoughts of starting the season on a bad note.

“Our goal is to improve from last year’s team,” said Coach Franz Calixte. “Last year we finished tied for fourth in the conference [10-8-1]. This year we want to be in the top three in the conference, and to begin to peak toward the end of the regular season.”

In addition to finishing higher in the Central Suburban South standings from last year, Coach Calixte said he wants the team to finish with more goals scored. In order to make that happen, he said, they are counting on increased speed to provide more opportunities to score goals.

“This year’s team will have tremendous speed all over the field,” said Coach Calixte. “Once we get comfortable with each other, we will be a team to watch.” He added he is counting on senior midfielder David Caprile to command the midfield. “Caprile has a lot of speed around him so we expect many assists from him,” said the coach.

Another player who is expected to take on a vital role this season is senior midfielder Sean Lewis, who was second last year in scoring. “Expect him to take on defensive responsibilities in the midfield, but still look to him as a goal-scoring threat,” said Coach Calixte.

In addition to Caprile and Lewis, there are five other seniors returning, including midfielder Davide Harris, defenseman/midfielder Antony Noria, defenseman Preston Bateman, goalkeeper Jose Rodriguez, and midfielder Suad Kacar. They will be equally important to this team’s success in providing solid play and leadership for the younger players.

The Wildkits played host to Lincoln Way East on Aug. 30. The Kits won 2-1.

The Wildkits have seven home games remaining this season: Sept. 11 vs. Maine East; Sept. 20 vs. Lake Forest; Sept. 22 vs. Mather; Sept. 23 vs. Maine South; Sept. 27 vs. St. Viator; Oct. 2 vs. Waukegan; and Oct. 10 vs. Libertyville.