The Evanston Township High School boys lacrosse team entered a matchup with archrival New Trier on April 27 with hopes of ending a four-game losing streak. Unfortunately the Trevion’s had other ideas, as the Wildkits fell by a score of 13-5.
In that game, after playing to a 3-3 tie in the first half, the Trevians came out and set the tone early in the third quarter as they scored the next five goals while holding the Kits scoreless to take an 8-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter. From there, the Kits were unfortunately unable to get any closer as they were outscored 5-2 in the final stanza. With the loss, the Kits fell to 7-6 overall.
“We played well. It was neck and neck there in the first half, but we are down a lot of guys right now. So we just have to get back to the drawing board and keep bouncing back and trying to work,” said head coach Justin Porter regarding his team’s performance. “But overall it was a really, really, good game. I think we had a program victory. We did not win on the scoreboard but as a program I think we took a step in the right direction, especially being so young, in sort of believing that for those two or three quarters that we can actually play with them and put up a good fight.”
Regarding that fateful third quarter, Porter said, “They jumped on us right away. We had a couple of bad calls here or there, but overall it was one of those types situations where you have emotions running high, you are coming out there and it is a tie ball game,” the Coach explained. “But those are the emotional roller coasters that you are going to face throughout the year, especially playing with young kids, you look like a deer in headlights, and we kind of got stuck.”
Even though they came up short, Coach Porter was pleased with his team’s effort. “
It was great seeing the young guys play like that, and to see that type of fight, that type of energy, that type of team camaraderie, and really never quitting, and just trying until the end,” explained the Coach. “I think this is the first time all year that they went out there and gave it their all and they can walk away with their heads high that they left it all on the field.”
After the New Trier game, the Kits took on Lake Zurich on April 29 and prevailed by a score of 8-4. With the victory, the Kits improved to 8-6 overall, and more importantly, ended their five-game losing streak.
“It is a tough year so far. We started off red-hot [at 7-1 overall], but we have had a few tough injuries in key positions,” said Coach Porter when asked how the season is going so far. “We just have to wait to get 100% healthy, and then I think we will be able to start to put it together for the playoffs. But we are up and down. It is obviously still a rebuilding period for the program, it is only my second year here, and we have nine freshmen on varsity, four of which start, and six that see [regular playing] time. So we have a long way to go but we are playing [at a higher level] now.”
Coach Porter also feels his team just has to start believing in themselves more and focus on what they are doing in order to be successful down the stretch. “We just have to stay disciplined. We just have to stay healthy, and just maintain focus and realize we are a good team if we believe in ourselves,” explained the Coach. “We do a lot of worrying about other people, what they think and what other teams are doing. But when we focus on our role, and our responsibility and taking accountability for our actions that is going to get us going.”
Next up, the Kits look to make it two wins in a row when they take on Vernon Hills on May 4 at Lazier Field in Evanston, followed by a matchup with Lake Forest on May 6. From there, they take on Highland Park on May 10, and then they finish the regular season on May 15 against Stevenson.