Last season, after finishing with an overall record of 17-2-5, the Evanston Township High School boys’ soccer team lost to Wheeling in the IHSA Class 3A Evanston Sectional championship game. The Wildkits hope to avenge that loss by matching or exceeding that level of success in the 2014 season.
“[Our goal is] to improve on last year,” said head coach Franz Calixte. “We lost in the Sectional finals, so a couple more wins in the postseason would be great.” In order for the Kits to improve on last season’s performance, the Coach said the key is hard work. “We pride ourselves on how hard we work, and we will not get out-worked this year.”
In addition to hard work, Coach Calixte pointed out a number things that need to happen for the Kits to have a solid season and make another lengthy postseason run. “We need to peak at the right time,” he said. “We [also] need to be healthy and have different people step up throughout the year.”
This season’s team will feature 12 seniors and seven juniors including junior goalie Adam Masters, 2013 All-Conference selection Oli Jacques, senior defenseman Bret Lowry, who was named an All-State defender in 2013, defenseman Mark Roth, senior Kepler Worobec, senior Ben Osterlund, senior Chris Vergara, senior Ben Rogan, and junior Erick Balthazar. The Kits will also look for contributions from senior Cristian Rodriguez, junior Arturo Ramirez, and senior John Tsingas.
“It will be a full team effort for us to be better than last year’s success,” said Coach Calixte. “However, we expect quite a bit from Bret, last year’s All-State defender.” The Coach added, “Also, we expect a breakout season from Oli in terms of goals and assists. When he gets double digits in both, we will be happy. [But overall] we should be a high-powered offense and fun to watch.”
When asked what the biggest obstacles will be in getting to the Sectional final or further again this season, the Coach simply said, “Ourselves. Becoming complacent.” He added, “We must play every game with the same effort and focus so that when we get into the playoffs we will be the most prepared team.”
The Kits opened the season on Aug. 25 against Wheeling in the Mid-Suburban League-Central Suburban League Challenge, which was the rematch of last season’s Sectional final. They played to a scoreless tie. From there, the Kits hoped to get into the win column in their second game of the season when they took on Libertyville on Aug. 27, the day this paper went to press.
Next, the Kits take on Niles West on Aug. 30. After that CSL South Conference matchup, they participate in the Evanston Tournament beginning on Sept. 2 when they take on Mather in the home opener at Lazier Field in Evanston. The Kits’ other opponents in the Evanston tournament will be Lake Forest Academy on Sept. 4 and Payton on Sept. 6.
If the Kits can work hard all season, refrain from getting complacent, and play as a team day in and day out, as Coach Calixte alluded to, they should have yet another solid season and be in position to make another lengthy postseason run come late October.