After tying Central Suburban League South Conference foe Glenbrook South on Sept. 24, the Evanston Township High School boys soccer team took on archrival New Trier on Sept. 26 looking for another conference victory. The Wildkits got it, beating the Trevians 2-0 at Lazier Field in Evanston.
The Kits took a one-goal lead when junior Brett Lowry scored on a header off a throw-in at the 5-minute, 58-second mark. Neither team was able to score the rest of the half as the game remained 1-0 at the intermission.
In the second half, Lowry added his second goal of the game to extend the Kits’ lead to 2-0 with 32 minutes and 43 seconds remaining. The Kits’ defense was able to maintain that lead as they held on for the 2-0 shutout over their conference rivals. The victory kept the fire hydrant – the trophy awarded to the winner of this matchup – in Evanston for another year.
“It was a great team victory,” said Head Coach Franz Calixte. “The boys came out, did not get over excited and played as if it was another game, and we let their soccer do the work, and I think soccer prevailed.”
Regarding the performance of Lowry, who is playing in his first full year on varsity, Calixte said, “He came up last year as an impact player. It is nice to see him scoring, and he has been just as good defensively. Even though we were surprised that a defender scored both goals, we were not surprised with Brett Lowry at all.”
The Coach added, “That [was] a great victory against a very strong Trevian team. They are a disciplined, well-coached team. They are dangerous, and they probably had more scoring chances than we did, so it was a good victory for us.”
The Kits have beaten the Trevians three years in a row, after losing their previous six matchups.
“As much as we like to think it is coaching, we have some fantastic players,” said Calixte. “These players believe in themselves, they have been used to winning now, and they play year-round, have some great coaching on some of the feeder programs [such as Team Evanston], so we are doing all right.”
Regarding the team’s defensive performance, the Coach said, “Anytime there is a shutout, there are positive comments. We did give [them scoring] opportunities, but all those opportunities were on set plays, which sometimes you just cannot help [doing].” He added, “Those things can happen, [such as] long throw-ins. Everything they did for their set plays was something dangerous. They were putting the ball into the [goal] box waiting for something to happen. So the discipline and communication was key for us.”
With the victory, the Kits improved to 9-1-2 overall. Calixte said, “This is one of the best starts we have had. I cannot remember a time where we were 10 or 11 games into the season with only one loss, so we are doing well.”
From there, after beating Jacobs, the Kits beat Maine South 2-0 on Oct. 1. That victory, coupled with a Glenbrook South tie against New Trier, gave the Kits the CSL South Conference title, their second in three seasons. In that game, senior Cobi Ortega and junior Oli Jacques provided the scoring for the Kits. In beating Maine South, the Kits also improved to 11-1-2 overall and finished 3-1-1 in CSL South play.
With just a few games remaining in the regular season, Calixte said the main goal is for his team to continue to improve in order to be at their best for postseason play. He said, “We will take it one game at a time. We just want to continue to play well and get better every game and start to peak in the playoffs.”
Next up, the Kits participate in the CSL Crossover tonight at Lazier Field in Evanston. Then they take on Stevenson on Oct. 15 and Warren on Oct. 17 in the season finale. The Kits are then scheduled to open the IHSA Sectionals on Oct. 29.