The Evanston girls soccer team is off and running. In the March 21 season opener, the Kits beat Hinsdale South 3-1. They then tied Stevenson 0-0 on March 24 and two days later beat Waukegan 8-0.
“We plan on giving 110 percent every day at practice and, of course, in the games,” said head coach Marx Succes. “Each girl sets up her own personal goal that they must work on everyday in order to reach the ultimate goal of winning State.”
Coach Succes also emphasizes a team first attitude, saying he is counting on all 18 players. “There is no ‘I’ in team,” he says.”Every year we want to win State, but this year we believe that we can make it that far,” said senior Margaret Head.
In a cold, rainy night game against Highland Park on Apr. 2, the Kits prevailed in a defensive battle, 2-0. Both of the Kits’ goals came in the second half, the first one in the first minute of the half and the second with less than a minute remaining. The game marked the first girls soccer game played under the lights at recently renovated Lazier Field. “We will take a ‘W.’ It was cold and miserable but we shouldn’t let that stand in our way,” said senior Kat Wilson.
During their spring break, April 6-9, the Kits traveled to North Carolina and played games against East Chapel Hill High School in Greensboro and against AC Reynolds and TC Roberson high schools in Asheville. All three teams are potential state contenders in North Carolina.
Going into those games, Coach Succes said, “If we play our style of soccer, we will be successful. [Playing these games is a] great way for us to bond together as a team and enjoy some good competition while we’re at it. They have great soccer there and it will not be easy.”
Indeed, the Kits headed back to Evanston after losing two games and tying one. The Kits’ game against Chapel Hill on April 6 resulted in a tie, 0-0. Then on April 8, they lost to AC Reynolds 2-1. To finish out the trip, the Kits lost to TC Roberson 3-2 on April 9.
“[The trip] was a really great experience and we played some amazing teams. Even though we didn’t win any of the games, they were really good experiences and we learned a lot about ourselves and how we can play. Hopefully we can take the energy that we had in North Carolina and expand on it for the rest of the season,” said junior Kate Doyle.
As of April 13, the Kits record stands at 3-2-2 with upcoming games against Maine West on April 14, Libertyville on April 16, Niles North on Apr. 20, and Glenbrook South on April 22, before heading to the Catholic Memorial Tournament on April 24 and 25. Conference play continues after that.
Of the teams on the schedule, Coach Succes does not favor facing one team over another. “We look forward to playing every team and every tournament,” he says.
“I’m really looking forward to playing our tough conference games coming up like New Trier [May 5], Glenbrook South [April 22], and Maine South [April 29]. We have rivalries with all three teams and those games will really test us and give us a chance to prove our talent,” said Doyle.
Wilson adds, “We are always motivated to get down state but this year there seems to be a little more fire burning in everyone’s eyes.”
If the Kits play like they have at the start of the season and use that extra fire to their advantage, there is no telling how far this team can go.