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After finishing last season with a record of 17-6-3 and winning the Regional title for the fourth time in five years, the Evanston Township High School girls’ soccer team hopes to capture another one this season, Head Coach Maurizio Grillo believes his team can make that happen.
“I think we have a really strong squad [and] we think we can be competitive enough to reach the Sectionals,” said Coach Grillo. In order for the Wildkits to accomplish that, Coach said, “Technically and tactically, we are able to compete; we just need to be a little stronger mentally and have a general awareness that we can compete at any level we want.”
The Coach added, “As far as technically and tactically, when you compare Evanston to other top tier schools player by player, we are just as good.”
When asked which players he will be counting on this season, Coach Grillo named junior Maia Cella, senior Kate Kremin, and senior Alex Berkley, along with a talented group of freshmen and a strong group of seniors on the roster.
“We have 11 seniors and we are hoping those seniors are going to play every game as if it were their last game, which it is for them, and just realize the importance of leaving a meaningful impact to the team and to the school,” said the Coach.
“That does not necessarily mean winning every game, just leaving something behind that this team will be remembered for.”
The Kits certainly got off on the right path toward having a season to remember as they beat Lakes by a score of 4-1 on March 17 in the season opener. Scoring goals for the Kits were Alex, Maia, senior Isabel Hart and sophomore Vanessa Eljaiek. Then they took on Mundelein on March 20 in the home opener at Lazier Field in Evanston. The two teams played to a 0-0 tie. The Kits have now allowed just four goals at Lazier Field dating back to last season.
“[The Lakes game] was a good experience; we won 4-1, and Mundelien was even better. We tied 0-0, but it was an even better experience because they showed what most of the competition is going to do against us,” explained Coach Grillo.
“At the end of the game, it was 18 shots on goal against one, but the problem is we could not break through.” The Coach continued, “I thought it was a really good experience because a lot of teams are going to do that against us. They are going to [play hard] on [the defensive side of the ball] but we are going to have to find a way to win that [battle].”
On March 21, the Kits beat Von Steuben at home in a commanding 6-0 win. Caitlyn Dalton scored three goals, and Hadley Bushala, Keara Kerr, and Kira Favakeh each added one.
On March 22, the Kits took on Loyola at Loyola in a rematch of last season’s Sectional semi-final, which saw the Ramblers end the Kits’ season for the second straight time. On Tuesday night the game ended in a tie, the Kits second of the season.
Next the Kits take on Whitney Young on March 23, and then they travel to Colorado to face off against Mullen High School on March 28 followed by a matchup with Golden High School on March 30.
If all goes as planned, the Kits should be in position to be battling for yet another Sectional appearance come playoff time in mid-May.