The Evanston Township High School girls soccer team finished last season on a sour note with a 3-2 loss to Lane in the Class 3A Regional finals. This season, they hope to avenge that loss with a strong season and long playoff run.
“I think we have a talented group of girls and we can go far this season,” said senior Jessie Powell. “We just have to pull together and play as a team. Once we get on our game and start putting passes together we [will be] hard to beat.”
The Wildkits opened the season on March 14 with a 1-1 tie with Lake Forest. Senior Anna Sipple scored the goal for the Kits.
“We started off real slow in [that] game. We did not pass the ball very well and our marking could have been a lot better in the first half,” said first-year head coach Tasha Nemo. “We had a real good talk with the girls during half time. We drew on the chalk board, told them what they did well and what they needed to do better.”
Coach Nemo added, “The second half was a lot better as far as hustle. Sometimes, that’s all a game comes down to – who hustles more. We fought back and tied the game at 1-1. I was pleased with the girls not giving up on themselves and finding the will to stay in the game.”
With the season underway, the coach expects her team to give it their all in every game this season.
“My expectations for the season are that all the girls play their absolute best. They must play hard 120 percent of the time,” said the coach. “I expect the girls to accept challenges head on and not be intimidated by them.”
Coach Nemo added, “I [also] expect the girls to be confident against all of our opponents and rise to the challenge of playing against some great teams.”
Of the opposing teams on the Kits’ schedule, Nemo is looking forward to the matchup with Loyola on March 29, playing in the Naperville tournament April 21-30, and games against New Trier, May 3, and Maine South on May 12.
In order for the Kits to be successful this season, the Coach Nemo says she feels that five players in particular are important to the teams’ success.
“Anna Sipple has been working very hard in practices. There is a fire in her this year that I have not seen in past years. I’m looking forward to watching her develop into a better player,” said Nemo. “Jackie Donohue is in a new position this season at center midfielder. She usually plays forward, but with her size and skills we have to utilize her in the center of the field. She has great vision and accuracy in getting the ball where she wants it to go.”
Nemo added, “Powell, Alex Bates and Emily Treiber are the core of our team. They are consistently strong in the back. They are relentless and take pride in defending their goalie.”
On March 17, in the Central Suburban League South Conference (CSLS) opener, the Kits fell to Glenbrook South, 2-0, in Evanston.
Powell said, “The GBS game was not our best. We did not make good passes or good decisions when we did have possession. We had a few opportunities but we just could not finish.”
Two days later, the Kits responded with their first win of the year. They beat Hinsdale South, 3-2, but were unable to keep up that momentum. They fell to Stevenson, 3-0, on March 22. After that game the Kits record stood at 1-2-1.
Next up for the Kits is a game on March 29 (the day this paper went to press) against Loyola. On April 4 they play against Lakes, and from there they play Highland Park on April 12.
“I think we are going to have a great season. We have to keep building up individual confidence and team confidence so that we start a game knowing we can win,” said Coach Nemo. “We have to keep instilling a strong work ethic so we do not lose or tie teams we can beat.”
She added, “The more the girls play together the more comfortable they will be with each other and understand how they all have strengths and that working together makes us a good team.”