The Evanston Township High School girls soccer team began the 2012 season working on different elements of play in order to maintain constant improvement throughout the year and put it all together to play its best soccer by the end of the season.
“We are taking this season in stages. We set out at the beginning of the season to work on possession, which I think we are very good at now,” said head coach Tasha Nemo. “The next step is to work on penetration and finishing. After the girls get that down, we are going to be extremely dangerous.”
The Kits certainly had no trouble with any of those three elements on March 27 against Ridgewood; they beat the Rebels 5-1. In the first half, the Kits jumped out to a 4-0 lead, thanks to goals by Ryan Berkley, Anna Sippel, Maureen Kerr and Jane Zunamon. Morgan Muno added the Kits’ fifth goal in the second half to make it 5-0. Ridgewood responded with a late goal off a corner kick, but it was too little too late as the Kits held on for the 5-1 victory.
“We played extremely well against Ridgewood,” said Nemo. “Everyone played hard and we executed well against them. Several of our sophomores had great games.”
The Kits were unable, however, to carry the momentum of the Ridgewood game into their March 29 matchup with Loyola, and they lost to the Ramblers 2-0.
“We worked really hard in the Loyola game. There were great battles all over the field. We were able to possess the ball well, but we didn’t get a lot of shots and we had two defensive lapses that cost us the game,” said Nemo. “Loyola is a great team, they have talent all over the field, and I can’t wait to play them again, because I know we can beat them.”
After the Loyola game, the Kits held an overall record of 3-3-1 heading into a matchup with Deerfield High School in Evanston on April 5. The Kits met them with hopes of going above .500 on the season.
But in that game, despite combining for 27 shots on goal, which included numerous quality chances to score, the teams were unable to score after 80 minutes of play and the game ended in a 0-0 draw on a chilly and windy afternoon at Lazier Field in Evanston. Deerfield had 16 shots on goal in the game while the Kits finished with 11.
With the draw with Deerfield, the Kits record stood at 3-3-2 overall. Nemo likes the makeup of this team and she is confident in this group’s ability to make some noise come playoff time in late May.
“We have a lot of young talent. They’re energetic and love the game and that’s helped them step into their roles well – sometimes that can be playing two different positions or learning a new position altogether,” said the coach. “Our seniors are doing an excellent job at mentoring and being leaders for the new players on our team. … I am really enjoying coaching this group of girls. They work hard, they are very coachable and they enjoy playing together.”
Nemo added, “What’s great about this team is the girls take instruction well. They work hard to get drills right and become better soccer players. I really believe in this group and I think we can go a long way this year.”
Next up on April 13, the Kits take on Central Suburban League South Conference foe Niles West, to be followed by Lakes the next day. They take on Glenbrook South on April 17, and follow with St. Viator and Barrington as part of the Naperville North Tournament April 20-21.