Evanston’s co-captains made sure that the Wildkits kept their tradition for success at the Evanston Invitational soccer tournament on track Saturday.
All three captains — Dylan TerMolen, Josh Klier, Miguel Jimenez — scored goals as the Kits completed round-robin tourney play with a 3-0 triumph over Payton Prep at Lazier Field.
Evanston, now 5-0, captured the tourney title for the fifth year in a row. Goalie Jack Norman posted his second shutout in as many starts this season and the red-hot Jimenez scored a goal in his 5th consecutive contest for the winners.
“We had all three captains score goals for us and I don’t know if we’ve ever done that here before, at least not in the recent past,” said Evanston head coach Franz Calixte. “What was really good was the way we played in the second half today. I was impressed, because they all played some pretty soccer.
“The purpose of this tournament is for them to get used to each other and get comfortable at the start of the season. Today was the best I’ve seen them play. They were playing free and loose and they looked comfortable out there. That’s what I wanted to see.”
TerMolen staked the slow-starting Wildkits to a 1-0 lead with his goal approximately 6 minutes before halftime. Klier found the back of the net on a give-and-go play in the second half, and Jimenez later stole a pass intended for the Payton goalie and fired a rocket into the back of the net to complete the scoring.
At his current scoring pace, Jimenez could threaten the ETHS school single-season scoring record of 37 goals set by Steve Morris in 1986, although so far the junior forward hasn’t scored multiple goals in any one game.
“All of our forwards have done a create job of creating opportunities out there,” said Calixte. “Miggy has a great shot, and he’s always hungry to score. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s pretty darn fast, either. And he doesn’t get 18 shots a game, but he connects when he has the chance.”
While Norman hasn’t allowed a goal in his two starts so far this season, junior Gavin Rosengarten has cemented his role as Evanston’s No. 1 keeper and both players built their confidence over the three-game tournament that included penalty kick competition at the conclusion of every game that gave teams a chance to score bonus points in the round-robin tourney.
Rosengarten, a junior, saved one PK attempt against him in a win over Lake Forest Academy and will likely earn the bulk of the starting assignments going forward.
“Gavin’s confidence is rising and so is Jack’s, and confidence is so important in high school soccer,” added Calixte. “It’s a good thing for us that we have two guys who are ready back there. Gavin is our starter, but Jack has done what he’s supposed to do for us, too, in the two games that he’s started.”